Press release - Joint statement


Open statement to Jan Björklund, Minister of Education and Erik Ullenhag, Minister of Integration 

The members of the organizations below, partners of the RED Network (Rights Equality & Diversity European Network), a network consisting of NGOs and research institutes from17 EU member states, are deeply concerned about the racist incidents depicting Black people as ”slaves” at Lund University and Malmö University in Sweden.

At Lund University, Hallands Student Nation organised a party on April 18th, 2011. During the evening, a number of students were led into the party with their faces painted in racist depiction of Black people refered to as ”Black face”. They had lynching ropes around their necks and were led by another white fellow student representing a white “slave trader”.During the course of the evening, a ”slave auction” where the "slaves" were sold was enacted.

Upon finding out about it, Mr. Momodou Jallow (Board Member of Center Against Racism - Centrum mot rasism) which is one of the partners in the RED Network), who works at Malmö University, reported the incident to the police as incitement to hatred. As a consequence, posters depicting Mr. Momodou Jallow as a slave in chains with a text saying ”where is our run away nigger slave?” were spread all over the city of Lund and at Malmö University.

We therefore welcome the letter from the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) to Sweden's EU Minister Birgitta Ohlsson, in which ENAR condemns these unacceptable violations of Human Rights taking place in Sweden.

The incidents also comes in the year 2011, which the United Nations General Assembly has declared as the Year for people of African Descent. Having that in mind, we call for greater understanding and public awareness of thebrutality of the Transatlantic slave trade, during which millions of African women, men and children were kidnapped, killed and raped.

We hope that the Minister of Education, Jan Björklund and the Minister of Integration, Erik Ullenhag sees it as an opportunity to address the specific needs of victims of racism and racial hatred. It is imperative that victim’s right’s are safeguarded and not trivialised or denied. It is also important to recognise that racial hate crime can spread well beyond the victimized individual. Hate crimes can terrorise communities. We therefore call for effective efforts to ensure that racism and racial hatred in Sweden is wholeheartedly and openly denounced as unacceptable. This is vital to prevent the generating of a culture of passive acceptance which allows racial hatred and racism to foster.

Signatories RED Network partners


i-RED, Institute for Rights, Equality & Diversity (Coordinator)


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights




Centre d'Etudes des Discriminations, du Racisme et de l'Antisémitisme (CEDRA)


European Forum for Migration Studies (EFMS) - Institute at the University of Bamberg


Movement for Peace and Liberty (MPDL)


Centre for Legal Resources (CLR)


NÚMENA – Research Centre on Human and Social Sciences


Finnish League for Human Rights


Immigrant Council of Ireland 


Center for the Study of Democracy Bulgaria

Peace Institute


Documentation and Advisory Centre on Racial Discrimination (DACoRD)


Center Against Racism