Sweden debunks ‘disinformation’ on Muslim child kidnappings
STOCKHOLM (AP) — The government of Sweden sought Friday to discredit claims that Swedish social service agencies kidnap Muslim children, saying the allegations “are wrong” and are “seriously misleading and aim to create tensions and spread mistrust.”
In a Twitter thread devoted to what it termed “a disinformation campaign,” the Swedish Foreign Ministry said that “all children in Sweden are protected and cared for equally under Swedish legislation, including the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
The Foreign Ministry stressed that social workers need a court order to remove children from parents without consent.
”Should this happen, the working hypothesis is that the child will be reunited with its parents. All this is done under the care and supervision of trained professionals,” the ministry’s post said. Any decision by the social services, “including cases where a child is temporarily removed from its parents, always put the safety and wellbeing of the child first,” the thread continued.
Claims that Swedish authorities have kidnapped children surfaced on social media in recent weeks. The Swedish Psychological Defense Agency, which was established to counter misinformation, said the allegations could be traced to an Arabic-language site whose creator expressed support for the Islamic State.
Some of the claims, published in English, said the children are placed with non-Muslim foster families and forced to eat pork and drink alcohol.
Mikael Tofvesson, the agency’s operative head, told Swedish radio that the aim of the campaign was “to create a negative image of Sweden.”
The minister for migration and integration, Anders Ygeman, told broadcaster TV4 that “lies must be met with facts.” Ygeman said Muslims and imams in Sweden had distanced themselves “from this propaganda and disinformation.”