Saturday, April 24, 2010

Men jailed for Rabbit Torture in Sweden

On Friday 23 April 2010, a court in Sweden was at work - four men were on trial for torturing two rabbits a year ago in Södertörn - a peninsula in southern Stockholm. Three of the four men were jailed for animal cruelty and one of them was slammed with a fine.

During the trial, the Södertörn district court was packed with animal rights activists and protesters. According to The Local, the trial was interrupted - as the police were ordered to eject the angry animal rights activists from the courtroom.

What happened to the rabbits?

One of the rabbits was burnt alive while the other was kicked to death. It is worth mentioning that the incident was caught on video - the men fastened both hind legs of one of the rabbits with tape, poured inflammable liquid on the rabbit and set it ablaze. As if this was not enough, the men laughed as the animal struggled to death.

No doubt, the men involved demonstrated unspeakable cruelty against the defenseless animals and the decision of the Södertörn district court - to serve three of the men involved with three to four months in prison, and to fine the fourth man - is justified.

However, this decision comes only a month after Amnesty International took Sweden to task for impunity for sex offenders in the Scandinavian country. Amnesty International criticized Sweden for failing to protect women from rape and other forms of violence.

Are animals more protected from violence than women in Sweden?

It is interesting to note that the Swedish media frenzy and anger that followed the rabbit torture case was enormous. Many people called for the men to be identified and made threats against them, while men who violate women go unnoticed and sometimes hailed like "champions" by their communities - as was the case in Bjästa, a small town in northern Sweden.

Last month in Bjästa, a girl was raped at her school. Unfortunately, she was unable to win unprecedented support and courtroom demonstrations like the rabbits! When she reported the rape incident to the authorities, what she got was rejection - the 14-year-old girl was rejected by the small Swedish community in which she lived.

Drawing from the analysis - are animal rights organizations stronger and more organized than women's rights organizations in Sweden? Better still, are animal rights more important than women's rights in Sweden?

If both rights are equally important - why was the little girl at Bjästa let down by her community? Assuming the rabbits were tortured in Bjästa - what would have been the response from the same community?

I would like to hear from you!


  1. The sentences that the men received for torturing the rabbit were lax. But a court today announced tougher sentences of 6, 4, and 3 months. What they did was sick and unacceptable.

    As for rape issues in Sweden, it's a situation new to the country bizarrely enough. Rape incidences have risen higher than other Nordic nations and higher than many EU countries.

    The problem with Sweden is that there is not enough money for police and criminal investigations. Less than 6% of violent crimes are ever solved. The police don't have the experience to deal with rape victims.

    I blame the Swedish government for lack of directive and strong police forces. These situations continue to fester and criminals know their chance of being caught is low.

  2. You bring up an excellent point and one that does need to be addressed by the government of Sweeden.


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