2009 Malmö anti-Israel riots
|2009 Malmö riot|
Police vans monitoring a section of the wider protests.
|Date||7 March 2009|
|Weapons||stones, fireworks, paint bombs|
|Perpetrators||100 detained, 10 arrested, 18 put on trial|
No. of participants
|Directly involved: 200–300|
|Defenders||Malmö police department|
Danish riot vehicle support
In February, the tennis match had been decided by Malmö's red-green city coalition to be closed to the public, a decision that was heavily criticised by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The Mayor of Malmö, Ilmar Reepalu personally said he thought the game should not be played at all, and the decision was thus considered to be more politically motivated than out of security concerns.
In anticipation of protests around 1,000 police officers sanctioned off a large area around the Baltic Hall tennis stadium to keep protesters and rioters away. A reported 170 truck loads of pavement stones were transported out of the area before the protests, and three schools were closed. In addition, for the first time in history, riot vehicles were brought in from Denmark.
The match was initially met with protest of around 6,000 to 7,000 anti-Israel demonstrators, with speeches held by the leader of the Left Party, Lars Ohly, who while wearing a Palestinian scarf was seen holding a map of Palestine with Israel eradicated. The demonstrators were joined by several hundred militants of which around 200 to 300 began attacking police with stones, fireworks and paint bombs. The anti-Israel rioters included AFA anti-fascists, militant Islamists, organised neo-Nazis, as well as activists from neighbouring countries. Police eventually detained around 100 rioters, arresting ten. An additional eighteen rioters were later identified and put on trial for their part in the riots, with several convictions.
The decision to close the tennis match to the public resulted in Malmö being banned from hosting tennis matches by the ITF for five years. In addition to having to provide $15,000 in minimum gate receipts for the match, the Swedish Tennis Association was fined an additional $25,000. The Swedish Tennis Association responded by issuing penalties to Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu for his involvement in the event.
A 2012 European Men's Handball Championship qualifier between Sweden and Israel set to be played in Karlskrona in June 2011 raised concerns due to the riots, and was considered to be moved to another location by Swedish sports authorities. The match was played as scheduled, with a minor anti-Israel demonstration being held.
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