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19-year-old Swedish rapper Einár shot dead in Stockholm

The prize-winning rapper, known for single “Katten i trakten” and album “Första klass”, was shot dead in Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm last night, police confirmed to local newspaper Mitt i.

Swedish rapper Einár
19-year-old rapper Einár, pictured here after winning the "Breakthrough of the Year" award in 2019. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

19-year-old Einár, whose full name is Nils Kurt Erik Einar Grönberg, was the most streamed artist on Spotify in Sweden in 2019.

He was shot multiple times outside an apartment building shortly before 11pm on Thursday. Ambulance personnel administered first aid but he died at the scene, Stockholm police spokeswoman Towe Hägg told AFP.

Police have opened a murder investigation. “We are actively working to figure why it happened and who can be behind it,” Hägg said.

Police confirmed his identity to local newspaper Mitt i on Friday morning. Many of Einár’s songs reference a life of crime, including drugs and weapons. He had public feuds with rival artist Yasin, who in July was jailed for 10 months for his role in a 2020 kidnapping of Einár.

Einár starting posting songs to social media as a young teenager and had his breakthrough in 2019, when he released the song “Katten i trakten” (The cat in the area), which reached number one on the Swedish singles chart.

He won several music awards, including a Swedish Grammy. Sweden has in recent years struggled to combat rising shootings and bombings by gangs and organised crime.

“A young life has been put out, and I understand that he meant a lot to many young people. It’s tragic that another life has been lost,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told news agency TT. 

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CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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