Nearly half the Iraqi population of the town of Vannas which is located in northern Sweden have decided to leave because of fear to their lives. One Iraqi told a newspaper, “I thought that Vannas was the perfect place for us. And there are many, many friendly people here. But, we still don’t dare to stay. I’m seriously concerned about my children’s safety.” The Iraqis were frightened when a crowd of 50 young people gathered outside the apartment building where they lived and chanted hateful comments. In addition to making threats to the Iraqis, they also threw stones.
The weekend of horror in which families lay on the floor in fear of being stoned finally resulted in a decision to move elsewhere. The police are upset at the decision of refugees to leave because they claim it interferes with their investigation. Police do not believe it is a racial matter but stems from a group of young people, who for one reason of another decided to congregate in front of a building containing Iraqis and shout racial comments.
Supposedly the dispute arose when a group of boys confronted a refugee boy about an assault on a girl. They shoved him around, but there was no serious injury. Actually, over a hundred residents came out in support of the refugees and urged them to remain, but about 40 of the 70 refugees have decided to leave.