A 56-year old man in Stockholm received four years of imprisonment for raping six and sexually harassing four young undocumented asylum seekers. 25-year old Samuel for example describes to a Swedish newspaper how the employee locked the door and covered the windows, after which he forced him to have unprotected sex with him. The staff member’s job was to inform immigrants on safe sex and contraceptives. He was also hired to help them with contact with the Swedish authorities. The ‘activist’ used his position to mislead these young men into thinking refusing to sex could lead to issues with the immigration bureau and that they would possibly get deported from the country because of it.
There were volunteers of RFSL at the court hearing. They confirmed the suspect would see clients after working hours. The ex-employee got four years of detention and has to pay each victim a fine. After the conviction, six more victims pressed charges. The man himself pleaded not guilty.
RFSL has been committed to the rights of LGBT+ people in Sweden for 70 years. There are 34 local departments where activists give courses at schools, clinics and corporations on the rights LGBT+ people. The organisation advises the government as well. RFSL had prior knowledge of the accusations, but claims to have handed this over to authorities later on at the request of the victims. In a statement on their website the organisation states they had started an internal investigation immediately. The ex-staff member was also suspended during the external investigation in 2020 later on. Furthermore, the statement emphasized the outrage of the organisation regarding the events. “RFSL and RFSL Stockholm condemn all forms of abuse. RFSL is an organisation built on values, of protecting and supporting LGBTQI people subjected to violence, threats and hate.”