Ismail Babakr, a 38-year-old Kurdish Swede living in Malmö, was severely beaten with iron pipes in what police have called a hate crime.
The Local (h/t Colin W) The incident occurred in Seved, Malmö, shortly before midnight on Sunday when the man displayed an Israeli flag from his window, sources told newspaper Sydsvenskan. The man reportedly exchanged words with men on the street after hanging the flag, and left his apartment.
Babakr said he has had the flag in his window for over a year, and didn’t understand why it became a problem now. The only reason he could think of was his political sympathies.
“I am active on social media against the Iranian regime,” Babakr told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. “I like Jews and Israel. And for me it’s no stranger than having a Swedish flag in my widow.”
It isn’t the first time that an Israeli flag in Malmö has been attacked. When the city hosted the Eurovision song contest in 2013, the Israel sign was removed on two occasions from a lamppost which included all the flags of the participating nations.
One of Ismail Babakr’s windows was smashed by a rock on Saturday, and just after midnight on Monday the second stone was thrown. Babakrran out to the street and followed those who had thrown the rocks – first just two young men, but with another eight or ten waiting around the corner, he said.
“They said that I couldn’t have an Israeli flag in my window, and that things would go terribly for the Kurds,” Babakr told Svenska Dagbladet. The gang proceeded to beat Babakr with iron pipes.