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Integration Minister Ylva Johansson

Sweden’s integration minister admits to lying about rape stats

After telling the BBC that the number of reported of sex crimes in Sweden was dropping, Sweden’s Integration Minister Ylva Johansson has had to backtrack on her false claim.

Published: March 6, 2017, 9:53 am

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    The most recent figures actually show a 13 percent increase in reported sex crimes in Sweden in 2016, and a general increase over the last ten years.

    During a recent interview with the BBC, the minister had nonetheless declared: “we can see that the level is going down, and going down, and going down,” but sadly this is not the case.

    Swedish social media as well as Twitter lit up with outcries of indignation over the minister’s misleading statement during her TV appearance.

    The Moderate party’s labour policy spokesperson Elisabeth Svantesson tweeted: “We don’t need more fake news.” She also called on the minister to explain herself. “In what way is the number of sex crimes decreasing?” she demanded to know.

    Johansson quickly corrected herself on Saturday. “I based my answer on information that I had at the time,” she told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. “Information I had at the time” sounds ominously like an explanation for an ideological bias, however.

    “The preliminary figures for 2016 unfortunately show that the figures are on the rise,” she said and added somewhat disingeniously: “It’s important to be correct, of course.” The number of rapes reported in Sweden increased by 13 percent in 2016 to 6 560, a statistics that the minister should have been accutely aware of.

    Johansson, during her interview on the BBC News channel, also denied any connection between crime and immigration.

    While the minister conceded “some problems” may have arisen from immigration, she added: “we cannot see a connection between crime and immigration”.

    “We have been an immigration country for twenty years… in the same time, the crime level has gone down. So we can’t really see that connection”, she said.

    “The level of rapes is not actually high in Sweden”, she also said, after attacking former UKIP leader Nigel Farage – who recently said Malmo was the “rape capital of Europe” – claiming he “doesn’t really know what he is talking about”.

    Over the past decade, the number of reported rapes rising from 4 208 in 2006 to 6 560 in 2016, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention as reported by Aftonbladet.

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