Sweden jails neo-nazis for attack on anti-racism march

STOCKHOLM - Three Swedish neo-nazis were handed prison sentences on Wednesday for attacking a peaceful anti-racism demonstration in a Stockholm suburb last December, a district court said.

Demonstrators including families with small children said they were attacked with bottles, stones, pepper spray and fire crackers while protesting against an uptick in swastika graffiti and nazi propaganda in the area.

"The incident in Kaerrtorp on December 15, 2013 has been deemed a case of violent rioting," Soedertoern district court said in a statement.

The three convicted men are members of the Swedish Resistance Movement, a violent extreme right group which openly supports nazi ideology and hails Adolf Hitler on its website.

Two of them, Emil Hagberg, 29, and Peter Jusztin, 24, have admitted to holding leadership positions in the organisation.

Hagberg was sentenced to eight months in prison, while Jusztin and the third member received six-month sentences for possession of tear gas and violent rioting.

Five other neo-Nazis, including three minors, were given fines, youth community service or were taken into youth care.

The march, which had 500 to 800 protesters included several left-wing extremists, some of whom are also being investigated for violent rioting.

Around 30 members of the Swedish Resistance Movement, who claim that they acted in self defence, were arrested after the incident.

According to the prosecutor, the investigation is still open and more suspects are expected to be judged for the incident.

A mosque and two multicultural schools in Stockholm have since been emblazoned with swastikas and racist slogans.