Nearly 1,000 Honour Culture Crimes Reported in Sweden in 2020

Close up of Swedish police officer wearing a luminous yellow green vest with police text.
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Swedish police statistics revealed there had been nearly 1,000 reports of crimes thought to be motivated by honour culture in 2020.

The figures state that police received 980 reports of crimes thought to be linked to honour culture in the country of some 10 million people. The report represents the first full year of the statistics since police started to record honour-related crimes in the autumn of 2019.

Jenny Edin, superintendent and national process leader for the police’s work against honour-related crime, told broadcaster Sveriges Radio: “The purpose of introducing this marker was to enable the police to be able to detect cases where there is a need to investigate whether there is an honour motive as early as possible.

“And just being able to identify early on whether a case is honour-related is a prerequisite for the right measures to be taken.”

While Edin stated that police did not expect the designation would lead to rapid change in the short term, officials are hopeful that victims of honour-related crimes will be able to get better help from authorities in the long-term.

Honour-related violence and crime remain a major issue in some parts of Sweden, according to newspaper Expressen, which cited a 2018 study in a recent editorial that claimed as many as one in six ninth-grade students in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö were living under some form of honour culture at home. Examples of honour culture include children being told what to wear to violence, genital mutilation, and forced marriage.

In 2017, another report claimed that as many as 240,000 young people under 25 across Sweden live under honour culture.

In recent years, Sweden had also seen several violent crimes linked to honour culture, such as in February of last year when an Iraqi migrant was sentenced to eight years in prison after he beat his daughter with a kebab spit, locked up his wife, and forced his daughters to wear Islamic veils.

The following October, Afghan migrants fatally stabbed a 21-year-old man in Kiruna 99 times aboard a bus in what was believed to have been an honour-related murder.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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