Remorse after Sian demonstration arrests

Sian demonstrationBergen.Sian demonstration.Photo: Eivind Senneset / NTB scanpix
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Several of those who were arrested after attacking the Sian leader in Bergen this past weekend tell Bergens Tidende that they regret letting their frustration take over.

Sian leader Lars Thorsen had to get three stitches after attacks from protesters who over took the police roadblocks. Two of the three who have been charged have spoken to Bergens Tidende.

They are originally from the Middle East, and are in their late teens and early 20s. They say that they knew the organization well from before.

– “We have seen the Sian leader burn the Koran and things of the like,” says a 19-year-old who is charged with assault.

They say that they were encouraged by people in the mosque not to participate in the demonstration. None of them say that they had planned to take over the barricade, throw stones or eggs, or attack the Sian leader. That changed after Thorsen had taken the podium.

– “He said cruel things about Islam and the Koran. We find it difficult to understand why it is allowed to say such hateful things. We wanted to stop him. But it went too far,” says the 19-year-old.

In a video NTB scanpix recorded during the demonstration, it is stated that the attack on the Sian leader took place right after Thorsen referred to Muhammad as a “false prophet”. A witness has confirmed the same to VG.

A total of 18 people are being investigated by the police after the incident, including for throwing stones and disorderly conduct. Some are charged with several counts.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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