Swedish bus driver separates passengers according to skin colour

Updated: 

Swedish bus driver separates passengers according to skin colour


An inquiry has been launched after a Swedish bus driver allegedly separated "foreign-looking" passengers from "Swedes" on the journey from Stockholm to the Eckerölinjen ferry terminal in Grisslehamn.

Passengers were reportedly subjected to an "apartheid-style" incident, in which they were made to board different buses depending on their skin colour last Wednesday (20 March) and Thursday (21 March) at Stockholm's city terminal, according to the Daily Mail.

Samer Chatila was one passenger involved in the incident while travelling to catch the ferry to the Finnish archipelago island of Aland.

According to thelocal.se, he said: "It was a very unpleasant experience... It felt like we were on our way to Arlanda airport to be deported from Sweden."

Chatila, who was born in Sweden and is currently studying mechanical engineering on Aland, was travelling with his brother Ahmad and a friend when they noticed the driver dividing people.

When they questioned the driver over the way he was grouping the passengers together, he claimed the bus the three friends were on was a direct route for passengers who had booked their trip in advance, while the other bus would make several stops to pick up more passengers.

He added that if they did not like the system they could get off the bus.

However, Chatila said the driver did not check their tickets, that two out of the three in the group had not pre-booked tickets, and that both buses stopped to pick up passengers.

Chatila added: "We felt insulted, offended and discriminated against. I never thought this could happen in our Sweden."

The Stockholm to Grisslehamn bus route is operated by People Travel Group on behalf of Eckerölinjen.

The company received a number of complaints about the incidents, and the director, Tomas Karlsson, said as soon as he heard he immediately contacted the head of operations at People Travel Group who took the driver off the route.

He added: "It seems like this was a single driver's decision and it only happened twice, but that is bad enough," reports thelocal.se.

The driver will now be called up to go in front of the company board to explain his actions.

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