A 65-year-old woman in the city of Jönköping is set to be prosecuted on hate crime charges for claiming that mass Muslim immigration will lower the general IQ of the Swedish population.
The woman faces eight counts of hate speech by Swedish courts for various posts she made on social media sites. In one post on the Facebook page “Stop Abuse” she wrote, “If this continues, the intelligence in Sweden will be at goldfish level,” broadcaster Sveriges Radio reports.
According to prosecutors, the woman made several other disparaging remarks toward migrants and Muslims. Prosecutor Lisa Hedberg said they were finding it more and more common to see “hate posts” on various social media pages.
Hedberg noted the work of the hate crime reporting group Näthatsgranskaren which has contributed to the surge in prosecutions for hate crimes in Sweden. The group, which records and reports hateful speech on social media to Swedish police, admitted that many of the people they report tend to be women aged over 55.
“I have no statistics, but the feeling is that the number of prosecutions increased when they are reviewing,” Hedberg said.
Pensioner fined for hate speech after calling Muslims 'monkeys' online https://t.co/XkOfsqSXuK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 29, 2017
Näthatsgranskaren head Tomas Åberg has also been nominated for Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet‘s “Swedish Hero” award for his work in reporting people for hate crimes to the police.
“We were surprised to see ladies over the age of 65 write very, very rough things on Facebook,” he said.
The 65-year-old woman is not the first pensioner to be charged under Sweden’s hate crime laws in recent years. In August of last year, a 70-year-old man was given a fine of over £1,000 because of remarks he had made about Muslims on social media.
Last year, the Swedish government decided to expand the far-reaching anti-hate speech laws by including “gender identity” alongside racism, homophobia, and other classifications for hate crimes.
In the UK, authorities have gone as far as seeking to ban offensive memes, and recently London Mayor Sadiq Khan warned social media giants Google and Facebook that they would have to crack down on hateful posts or face fines and regulation from the government.