On July 9, alt-info.com published information titled “Sweden’s Rape Epidemy.” The material notes that the number of rapes has significantly increased since the country started to receive big amounts of migrants, while 92% of the rapes are carried out by migrants, according to the statistics. According to the edition, most of the rapes are conducted by the migrants from Islamic countries.
Alt-info.com: “According to the statistics, 92% of all rapes in the country are carried out by migrants. It is interesting that among the top 10 countries of origin dominating with the number of rapes, there is only one non-Muslim country (Chile). Iraqis have carried out the most rapes in Sweden, followed by Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Syria, Gambia, Iran, Palestine, Chile and Kosovo. An Afghan migrant is 79 times more likely to rape than a Swede citizen.”
The primary source of the material, as indicated, is a webpage jihadwatch.org, which is, in turn, based on a conservative news webpage www.10news.one. The article was also disseminated on Facebook on July 10, namely on alt-info.com Facebook page Alt-Info, as well as Antiparadox, Anti-Liberal Club and Geo Pepe.
Photo 1. Dissemination of disinformation in social media
The statement made in the material by alt-info.com is a disinformation. The statistics based on the criminals’ ethnic and national background have not been recorded in Sweden since 2005.
Fact #1. As Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention explains, there exist no statistics by the criminals’ origin or birth place.
Myth Detector contacted the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet - Brå) which is an agency subordinate to the Ministry of Justice of Sweden and collects official data on all types of crime, including sexual offence. According to the representatives of the agency, no statistics are recorded based on the origin or birthplace of the criminals. The most recent research on migrants and crime was conducted in 2005. Therefore, the claim that 92% of all rapes in Sweden are allegedly committed by migrants is disinformation.
Fact #2. The number of registered crimes has increased in Sweden as compared to the previous years, however, there is no basis to connect the increased crime rate to the migrants.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, as a response to the incorrect information disseminated about Sweden and its migration policy, published Facts about Migration and Crime in Sweden, where several popular ungrounded claims are reviewed. One of them is a false message that refugees are allegedly behind the increased crime rate in Sweden. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains, according to the data of the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, 13% of the population of Sweden was subject to violence by 2015. This is higher than in the previous years, however, nearly the same as in 2005.
Photo: Facts on Migration and Crime in Sweden
Source: Government Offices of Sweden, www.government.se
The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention conducted two researches on representation of people with foreign origin among the suspects in crime. The researches showed that the majority of the suspects were born in those families in Sweden, where both parents are also born in Sweden. In addition, most of the people with foreign origin are not suspected in any kind of crime. Moreover, the research conducted by the researchers of Stockholm University shows that the decisive factor determining the difference between the crime activities of the migrants and the rest of the population is the socio-economic conditions in which the individual has been raised. The statement that the migration in Sweden is allegedly in a causative connection with the increased number of sexual offenses and murders is groundless.
Fact #3. Incorrect information about the rape statistics in Sweden is often disseminated in tabloid media outlets.
As the material published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden notes, false information about the crime rate and migration policy of Sweden is often disseminated. Tabloid media outlets or ultra-right organizations take the lead in disseminating such information. The given sources often publish incorrect data and manipulative articles about Muslim emigrants.
An American fact-checking portal snopes.com prepared materials on the false information disseminated by the tabloid media outlets concerning the allegedly increased rape rate and migrants in Sweden. According to the materials of snopes.com, which are based on statistical data, there is no evidence supporting the opinion that the newly arrived migrants are somehow connected to the increased number of sexual crimes in Sweden.
Prepared by Dali Kurdadze
About the Anti-Liberal Club, Geo Pepe and Alt-Info.
Anti-Liberal Club is a page created in the social network Facebook that mostly disseminates photo, video and textual materials with xenophobic, homophobic and anti-Western context. The About section of the page indicates that the page aims to criticize and show the negative side of the liberal ideology. A Facebook page Geo Pepe, the About section of which reads that it aims to criticize the liberal ideology, disseminates similar materials. Alt-info.com is a webpage that mostly disseminates manipulative materials with anti-liberal and homophobic context. The About section of its Facebook page notes that Alt-info is an informative website.
Anti-Paradox is a page created in the social network Facebook with up to 45 thousand followers. The About section of the page has not personal information, while the identity of its authors is also unknown. Anti-Paradox mostly publishes anti-liberal, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic posts. The page actively uses hate speech towards various groups. In the period prior to May 17, 2017, it was disseminating calls motivating for a hate crime against the LGBT individuals. The page has also been disseminating photo/textual manipulations and disinformation about various events. An event was organized on Anti-Paradox page on April 21, 2017, which aimed to organize a manifestation countering the manifestation protesting the policy of the Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orban and aimed to express support towards Orban’s policy. The edition was inviting “every person with national, anti-liberal positions, who would support the national, anti-liberal policy of Hungary” to the counter-manifestation. The supporters of the Prime Minister of Hungary that appeared at the counter-manifestation planned by Anti-Paradox were mainly the representatives of parties – “Georgian Idea” and “Free Generation”.