A Swedish journalist attempting to make a movie about the residents of a Swedish no go zone and their habit of throwing stones at police has herself been attacked and had stones thrown at her as she attempted to film.
“They thought we crossed the limit and that we were standing on their land,” journalist Valentina Xhaferi told Swedish newspaper Expressen.
Ms Xhaferi planned on investigating police reports that any officer trying to patrol the Stockholm district of Tensta – with its foreign born population now over 70 per cent – would be pelted with rocks. She wanted to get behind the black headlines and find out what was really troubling the poor residents.
So along with a cameraman, she traveled into the suburb to film their report last week. They had set up their recording equipment in a small, central square, and spoken to a man who had agreed to be interviewed.
But as they waited, another man, who appeared to be upset, approach to ask why they were filming. He went away only to return with his gang.
“Then he became very, very angry and said he’ll get stones and show us what stoning is. When I saw that he was armed with a stone I just wanted to get out of there,” said Ms Xhaferi.
At this point more three men appeared from a subway and demanded to know what they were doing. The camera was recording, and captured the moment the men kicked the equipment to the floor, shouted insults at Ms. Xhaferi and poured coffee on the cameraman before running off.
“It was impossible to calm them down. I pulled back and tried to calm down everyone, while trying to get my colleague and myself out of there.
“I become very anxious and had a feeling that the situation was going to explode. That’s when the guy threw a stone at us.”
A week later they went back to record the report in the company of policemen.
“I do not take it personally, but I think it’s really bloody bad not to be able to make a recording in a public place. That we must be protected by police,” she said.
Police estimate that there are around 55 such areas in Sweden similar to the Tensta no go zone, which was the site of a riot in 2012, and which boasts a 95-100 per cent foreign origin rate for children living there.