Lexbase, a website which enables users to view corporations and individuals that have been involved in criminal activity in the last five years, is under threat as the Swedish Government proposes that it be banned. Historically protected under the Swedish Freedom of Expression Act, the government now claims that the information is too sensitive for the average Swede, and that access should be limited to professionals such as journalists and lawyers.
For many, Lexbase has been a useful tool for performing complete background checks, keeping people safe. However, the site lists the ethnic origin of perpetrators, which many in Sweden have used to glean the rates at which certain groups commit crimes.
Proponents of the ban cite that Lexbase allows for sensitive information to be easily accessed, and data on crime and ethnicity or religion should not be available to the general public.
Swedish Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson has a different opinion, stating, “Journalist activities should not be met by any ban”.
Sweden has, in modern times become a multicultural society. With a population of only 8 million, the effect of the policy of multiculturalism becomes clearer much faster than for larger Western nations. As integration is attempted, both proponents and opponents of the policy of diversity depend on statistics like those shown on Lexbase to back up their claims.
Swedish police officer Peter Springare said, in an interview with the Sunday Times, “The highest and most extreme violence – rapes and shooting – is dominated by criminal immigrants.”
Springare’s report is not unique. The Swedish government does not keep statistics based on race or ethnic origin in the criminal context; however, numerous private reports and statements from lawyers and average Swedes have shed light on the demographics of crime in the Scandinavian country. Gang Rape Sweden was a project that resulted from leaked crime data sent to the nationalist group “Norddfront” and subsequently organized for all to see. The site’s data reflected that, between 2011 and 2015, 45 percent of all crimes, and 82 percent of gang rapes, were committed by people born in foreign countries.
Although the website was removed, many have speculated on the legitimacy of the claim, including Swedish journalist Peter Imanuelsen, who stated, “I’m very certain it is legit…Since they are being sued for publishing this info, it must mean it is correct”.
Sweden has long been the focal point of discourse regarding immigration crises throughout the West. During an interview in February President Trump alluded to the situation, making the controversial statement, “We’ve got to keep our country safe … You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden … Sweden? Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible”.
Give the public a break – The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2017
Lexbase made a public announcement on the issue, saying, “The right to read these public documents easily via Lexbase will, if the proposal is adopted, be reserved to professionals, such as lawyers, journalists, and various companies”. However, the government has yet to define who exactly constitutes a “professional”.
While the issue of large scale immigration is centered on Sweden, the Swedish government seeks to close down one of the debate’s most important components.