Mail Online sex attack story ‘filled with lies’, Swedish woman says

Lisen Andrasson Florman says Daily Mail website wrongly reported she had been victim of sexual assault at music festival

A Swedish woman has accused the Mail Online of falsely representing her as the victim of a sexual assault in an article about sex attacks allegedly perpetrated by foreign youths at a music festival.

Lisen Andrasson Florman told the Guardian she was shocked to discover herself cast as the victim of an assault, and said she felt violated by the Mail Online report.

The article had contained extensive quotes from Andrasson Florman describing a sexual attack at the hands of a group of men, who groped her breasts and left her feeling small and vulnerable.

Lisen

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figcaption class=”caption” caption–img caption caption–img” itemprop=”description”> Lisen Andrasson Florman says she feels violated by the Mail Online.

No one groped my breasts, despite what the Daily Mail claims in both headline and story. The Daily Mail has published a piece of sensationalistic writing, filled with lies. The newspaper has consciously distorted my quotes, stolen private photos and lied. All in order to confirm a story that serves an agenda that isnt mine and to tell a story that isnt true, she wrote in a Facebook post.

Her quotes came in a piece that began: Five women say they were raped at Swedens biggest music festival on the same weekend as a mob of foreign youths sexually assaulted 35 females, one as young as 12 at another concert.

The online headline, published next to a picture of her, reproduces a quote, stating: I asked them to stop… but they grabbed my breasts very roughly: Second Swedish music festival victim reveals she was groped by a mob of men as police reveal five more women were raped.

The quotes were reprinted in the Sun and the Daily Star in the context of a number of reports about an upsurge in sexual violence at the hands of foreign men in Sweden. After contacting the Daily Mail, the article was amended and her quotes were removed. She has received no apology from the organisation. The misreported quotes remain on the Sun and the Star websites.

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Lisen Andrasson Florman as she appeared in the Mail Online report. Photograph: Daily Mail/SVT

Andrasson Florman, who is the founder of a charity, Night Shift, which sends volunteers to festivals and nightclubs to work against violence and sexual assault, said in a telephone call to the Guardian that she had been surrounded by a group of men at the Brvalla festival.

She said she felt intimidated by the men, but she was clear that they were protesting at her professional presence at the festival as a campaigner against violence. They grabbed me and reached for my radio, but they never roughly grabbed my breast, she said. She said she told the Daily Mail journalist that the men who surrounded her were Swedish.

She was interviewed by the Daily Mail a few days after the festival, and gave a wide-ranging interview about sexual harassment at music events. She said she regretted failing to have read previous articles by the Daily Mail journalist Ulf Andersson before agreeing to speak to him. She now believes that some of his earlier reporting appeared to promote an anti-immigrant or xenophobic angle.

The attacks on the festival are of great significance politically in Sweden. We are seeing how far-right politicians are using these incidents to promote anti-immigrant sentiments in our society, she said, adding that her organisation sees no connection between the refugee influx or immigrants and the occurrence of sexual harassment or assault in Swedish nightlife.

We have noticed an apparent increase in organised assaults where several men cooperate in surrounding and groping girls. Its not contrary to what you hear some people say in the public debate linked to certain ethnicity, background or religion. Not in our experience, and we spend hours and hours in the field. The only common denominator is that the perpetrators weve come across are all men.

A series of articles about attacks by foreign youths at Swedish music festivals has been published by the Mail Online this month. The subject has become highly politicised in Sweden in the wake of the unease about sex assaults in Cologne on New Years Eve. After reports of attacks at the Puttei Parken festival, police quickly attributed the crimes to foreign youths in a statement on the Vrmland regional police website. The statement was later removed after doubt was cast on whether the attackers had been Swedish or from elsewhere.

Earlier this year, the Swedish embassy in London was reported to have sent a <a href=”https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/mar/01/embassy-says-daily-mail-is-running-swedish-refugee-propaganda-campaign” data-link-name=”in” body link” class=”u-underline”>dispatch to the Swedish foreign ministry expressing concern that the Daily Mail was running a campaign against Swedens refugee policy. The tabloid Daily Mail has launched a campaign against Swedish migration policy, the message said, according to Swedish media. Sweden is being used as a deterrent and an argument against allowing more refugees into the UK.

The Swedish embassy said they had no comment when contacted. The Mail Online did not respond to a request for comment.

Andrasson Florman said Night Shift was a non-political organisation, which takes a clear stand against racism and sexism and she was angry that her words had been misused and misrepresented by media outlets and people who seem to have another agenda which is highly political.

She was also angry that the reports were illustrated with pictures from her Facebook, reproduced without her permission. Of course I am angry when my organisations work and my own person is misrepresented. It does not help the struggle against violence and sexual assault by construing facts for political gain, she said.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/15/mail-online-sweden-music-bravalla-festival-sex-attack-story

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