The trial against the Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) – here is what has happened so far

Today, the trial begins in the case against the Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR), a Swedish Nazi organisation. 17 Nazis are on trial, 16 of them stand accused of illegal agitation against ethnic minority groups. The charges are largely based on a police report filed by Civil Rights Defenders. Here is what has happened so far.

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7 September 2017

The Nazi organisation Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) is given permission to demonstrate during the Gothenburg Book Fair.

NMR plans to march past the Gothenburg Synagogue during the ongoing celebration of Yom Kippur, an important Jewish holiday.

15 September 2017

Civil Rights Defenders appeals the demonstration permit. The Administrative Court decides to change and shorten the route of the march.

30 September 2017

About 500 people demonstrate with NMR.

They wear uniform-like clothes, shields, and flags bearing the symbol of the NMR movement (Tyrrunan), which was also used in Germany by the Nazis in the 1930s.

They chant Nazi slogans and carry posters with pictures of well-known Swedes, many of them of Jewish descent, labelling them as “criminals”.

About 35 people are taken into custody by the police under suspicion of violent riot, among other crimes.

12 October 2017

Civil Rights Defenders files a police report against several high-ranking NMR members. The report argues that NMR engaged in hate speech during the march. It particularly argues that contemporary forms of Nazi hate speech should be considered agitation against ethnic minority groups.

4 October 2018

17 people who participated in the NMR demonstration are prosecuted. 16 are charged with agitation against ethnic minority groups. In the lawsuit, the prosecutor pursues Civil Rights Defenders’ line of reasoning.

24 September 2019

The trial begins in the Gothenburg District Court.

It now remains to be seen whether the Swedish hate crime law truly is an effective prohibition of agitation against ethnic minority groups.

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