John Hron

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John Hron (25 January 1981 – 17 August 1995) was a Swedish 14-year-old boy with Czech family background who was tortured and murdered by four young men. The month before his death, John had won a bronze medal in the national canoeing youth championships.

Murder[edit]

John was camping with a friend by the small lake Ingetorpssjön near his home town Kode in Kungälv Municipality on the night of his murder. Four young men, aged 15, 17, 18 and 18, appeared, who all had ties to the neo-nazi skinhead subculture. John knew the youngest one, Mikael Fjällholm, from school. Mikael, who had been a bully at the school both he and John went to, said in his testimony, "I must have scared every last one in that school." John, who was known for speaking his mind, had come in conflict with Mikael and the neo-nazi gang, who had threatened to kill John. The evening of August 17, 1995, while John was camping with his friend, the group of neo-nazis walked up to their campsite near the lake and told John to say that he "loves nazism". John, being known for standing up against racism, refused and was then beaten brutally.

The nazis began kicking him in the head, hitting him, throwing heavy cans of beer in his face and taunting him verbally, while the next second acting nice and offering him beers and apologizing, just to continue beating him again, in what was described as a sadistic "cat-and-mouse"-like torture that went on for hours. They jump-kicked him, kicked him in the back of his head, hit him with a burning piece of wood in his neck and pushing him into the fire to burn him, stomping on his stomach, destroying their belongings and setting fire to their tent. John and his friend begged several times for the nazis to let them go home but it "angried" the gang who continued hitting him until he couldn't stand up. John was eventually thrown or pushed into the lake still alive. He tried to swim away when the murderers shouted to John to swim back and threatened to kill John's friend if he didn't, and John decided to swim back to save his friend's life.[1]

The torture continued as two of the attackers continued kicking him in the head for several minutes. After John became unconscious, they threw John's fractured body in the water again.[2] He sunk to the bottom and drowned.[1][3] His friend, Christian, hitched a ride home and alerted the authorities. The murderers rolled a cigarette as they watched John's body sink to the bottom of the lake.

Aftermath[edit]

In the court, the 18-year-old boy who was the main person behind the abuse, Daniel Hansson, was sentenced to eight years in prison for murder.[4] He was released on 1 January 2001. A 15-year-old boy, Fjällholm, was sentenced to five years closed institutional youth care. The two others, John Billing and one more known only as BM were sentenced to ten and four months in prison, respectively. The case received a lot of attention in Sweden. In 1996, Hron posthumously received the inaugural Stig Dagerman Prize for free speech and world peace.[5] Hron's grave has since been desecrated several times.[6] One of the murderers had previously stabbed a guy in an earlier crime. Another one of the gang was part of a plot to violently attack a sports event. All of them were active neo-nazis, some of them involved in the violent nazi organization Vitt Ariskt Motstånd (VAM) which stands for "White Aryan Resistance" and they had flyers and propaganda from this group in their belongings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lagercrantz, Agneta (31 January 2005). "Tony Hrons egen sorg fick vänta". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Lerner, Thomas (16 April 2008). "Hämnden är att försöka må bra". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Olsson, Lena (12 October 1998). "John Hron förföljs efter sin död". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Peruzzi, Britt; Sjödin, Stefan (11 May 2000). "Från skolkare – till kallblodig mördare". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "1996 års Stig Dagermanpristagare John Hron" (in Swedish). Stig Dagermansällskapet. Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Darin, Johan (10 August 2007). "John Hrons grav skändad - igen". Expressen (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 

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