In the first nine months of 2017, the Swedish migration board has reported 2,875 serious incidents against their staff including threats of rape and assault, and threats to set fire to their offices.
Particularly worrying for the female employees of the migration board, which handles all the country’s asylum claims, has been the number of sexual harassment incidents from migrants. So far, there have been 15 cases of sexual harassment including one in which a migrant threatened to rape a female employee, Aftonbladet reports.
Maria Johansson, working environment specialist at the Swedish Migration Board, said the incidents “can be anything including an inappropriate comment related to a sexual act. This is not a common problem with us, but it is serious when it happens.”
Threats often come via email and over the telephone, with one female employee being verbally abused over the telephone when a migrant yelled, “What do you doing you fucking pussy?!” before hanging up.
A case in Södermanland during the summer saw a female employee followed by a migrant man as she was going outside for fresh air. She decided to ignore him and look at her mobile phone but he started kissing her hand and then trying to kiss her on the lips before she pushed him off.
In central Norrland, an aggressive migrant showed up at a migration board office and when security guards confronted him he not only threatened to kill them but turned to a female guard and told her he would find her address and rape her. The asylum seeker was later arrested and convicted for uttering threats.
Another female officer in the Stockhold area reported being followed on public transport. Although she asked the man to stop following her, he continued to harass her and told her that he knew she worked at the migration board.
“He threatened to throw me in front of the train,” the woman said.
When the train arrived, he reiterated that he wanted to accompany her home before he disappeared.
The migration office worker added: “I felt uneasy when I went to work the next day.”
Another report from an employee claimed that a migrant had called her at the migration board office 166 times in the span of only an hour and made threats against her.
Threats against employees or volunteers working with migrants can sometimes lead to brutal crimes. Over the past two years, several women working with asylum seekers have been killed by them.
The most known case in Sweden was that of asylum centre worker Alexandra Mezher who was killed by a Somalian man who lied about being underage.
In Germany asylum shelter volunteer Maria Ladenburger was raped and killed by an Afghan migrant who also admitted he lied about being underage.