By Omar Bah
A Swedish MP of Gambian ancestry, Momodou Malcom Jallow, yesterday told The Standard that his family is the target of death threats yet the Swedish police are refusing to provide protection.
“A man called my family and threatened to bomb my residence with them inside because of my work. The police and the secret police refused to protect me and my family,” Jallow said.
MP Jallow has previously been subjected to threats and hate crimes principally because of his race, commitment to human rights, and his political assignments in the Swedish parliament.
In 2018, he filed a case before a UN Committee, alleging to be a victim of a violation by Denmark, a state party to articles 4(a), 4(c), and 6 of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has since ruled in his favour.
In the recent case, according to Malmö police, a patrol was sent to his home on Thursday evening after his daughter reported a bomb threat.
“I’m now thinking about whether it’s worth continuing as an elected representative. A line has been crossed,” Jallow said.
His daughter had received a phone call from a person who wanted her father to go out.
The conversation soon escalated into a bomb threat. The person threatened to blow up the family’s home in Malmö.
“My daughter was really scared. She called me because I was in Stockholm working, and I called the police,” Jallow said.
“This is the first time they have called my daughter directly and said they are going to blow up the house. The limits of what we can accept in a democratic society have been crossed when elected representatives and their children are threatened in this way.”
Mr Jallow’s Left Party has questioned how SAPO or Säkerhetspolisen, the Swedish Security Police distributes its resources when it comes to personal protection.
Jallow stated: “I think Lars Vilks [artist threatened with death over drawing of Muhammad cartoons] got police protection around the clock. Even families of gang members in Uppsala! The same protection must reasonably be afforded to us elected representatives when we and our families are exposed on a daily basis. SAPO needs to reprioritise and make new assessments. You don’t take the necessary steps to make me and my family feel safe so that I can do my job.”
According to the politician, SAPO has assessed that he does not need an alarm at home.
He now doubts whether it is worth continuing to work as an elected representative.
“I don’t want to put my children and my family in danger when safety is not guaranteed and taken seriously. The family is not safe, and this is directly linked to my work as a Member of Parliament.”
MP Jallow said that it is ultimately a question of safeguarding democracy.
“I asked SAPO to track down the person who called my daughter. After all, they have the tools. But they said that the police in Malmö will have to decide if they need help. I think that SAPO must give that support to a member of parliament.”
SAPO’s press spokesman, Adam Samara, confirmed that they are aware that a report has been prepared.
“Beyond that, we have nothing to say. In general, we are not talking about the protection of our central state leadership,” he says.