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Iran’s top rights official: Sweden turning into prison for Muslims with government support

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Protesters burn a barricade at the entrance to a shopping center during rioting in Norrkoping, Sweden, on April 17, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Iran’s top human rights official has taken the government of Sweden to task over its support for plans by a far-right group to publicly burn copies of the Holy Qur'an, which has sparked violent protests across the European country since Thursday.

The Monday remarks by Kazem Gharibabadi, who acts as secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, came after Rasmus Paludan, the Danish leader of Sweden’s far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, burned a copy of the Qur’an in a heavily-populated Muslim area on Saturday.

Paludan, accompanied by police, went to an open public space in the southern Swedish city of Linkoping and reportedly placed the Muslim holy book down and tried to set it on fire while ignoring protests from onlookers.

Taking to his official Twitter page, Iran’s rights official said, “Sacrilege to religious sanctities is under no circumstances whatsoever acceptable.”

He added that as religious intolerance rages across Europe “Sweden is morphing into a prison for Muslims with the support of the government.”

“Seems they’ve missed Medieval Inquisition!” he added.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Sunday denounced the desecration of the Holy Qur’an by the Swedish far-right group, saying the blasphemous act is a clear example of hatemongering and in contravention of speech freedom.

Khatibzadeh said Iran “strongly condemns the burning of the Holy Qur’an by an extremist racist Danish element in the Swedish city of Linkoping, which took place under the pretext of freedom of expression and under the auspices of the Swedish police.”

Iran's Foreign Ministry also on Sunday summoned the chargé d'affaires of Sweden to convey the Islamic Republic’s vehement protest at the desecration of the Holy Qur’an by a Swedish far-right group during the fasting month of Ramadan.

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