STOCKOLM, Sweden (Panorama.am)—The Stockholm District Court made a formal judgement on the case of the former Deputy Chairman of the Turkish National Association of Sweden Barbaros Leylani, who made xenophobic, anti-Armenian statements containing clear expressions of incitement to violence, hatred and racial discrimination, website of the regional socio-political newspaper Sydsvenskan reports.
Besides, the court sentenced Leylani to fine in an amount equal to his 40-day income.
According to Arshak Gavafyan, Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of Sweden, the court’s decision was too lenient.
An anti-Armenian demonstration was organized by the Coordination Center of Azerbaijani Associations in Sweden in the square Sergels, Stockholm, on Saturday, April 9 where over 100 people participated. Representatives of local Azerbaijani and Turkish organizations were among the protesters. The Armenian embassy in Sweden reported in a statement that during the demonstration, the vice chairman of the Coordination Center of Turkish Associations in Sweden, Barbaros Leylani, made a speech in Turkish coming up with anti-Armenian and nationalistic statements.
“It is time for uniting the Turkish nation. The Turks will wake up putting an end to the Armenian dogs. Death to the Armenian dogs! Death! Death!” Barbaros Leylani stated. It was noted that the protesters chanted his remarks.
Leylani’s speech was widely spread throughout Sweden and as a result, the reaction of the central media followed.
Swedish MP Fredrik Malm and the chairman of the Coordination Center of Armenian Associations, Karlen Mansuryan, condemned such aggressive statements commenting the demonstration and Leylani’s statements on air.
Dagens Nyheter reported that according to Simon Sahakyan, the secretary of the Armenian Academic Association in Sweden, Leylani’s statements reflect the Turkish authorities’ position led by the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He reminded the audience of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Turkey and highlighted that this historical fact has already been recognized by many states despite Turkey’s resistance.
On April 11, short after backlash about his remarks, Leylani resigned from his position of vice president of the Turkish National Association of Sweden.