Swedish politician Patrik Liljeglod 'raped for his beliefs'

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A picture showing the Swedish politician Patrik LiljeglodImage source, SVT
Image caption,
Supporters have paid tribute to Patrik Liljeglod's bravery

A Swedish politician has revealed on Facebook that he was raped by a knife-wielding attacker because of his political leanings.

Patrik Liljeglod is a group leader of the Left Party, in the city of Falun.

He also spoke about the assault at a council meeting on Thursday evening.

"I was brutally treated and raped at knifepoint on the pretext that I was a left-wing [expletive], that people like us like this, and finally that I was a traitor," he said.

Police have confirmed they are investigating the matter. Sweden's SVT said there have been no arrests so far, and the National Forensic Centre is working on the case.

Mr Liljeglod said the attack happened at the end of July, when he was walking home on a summer evening.

He said he would have preferred to bury what happened so deep that nobody but him would ever know, but that he felt it was his duty to speak out because the attack had been politically motivated.

"I stand here because, given my deeply rooted belief that democracy is an integral part of our society, I feel that I must," he wrote.

The Left Party leader said he would not abandon his agenda, but would fight even harder after what had happened.

"Nothing is more important than democracy, people die for the right to democracy every day - and the right we have inherited through our parents' struggles, we have to continue fighting for," he wrote.

"And we must remind those citizens who have forgotten why."

Police spokesperson Stefan Dangardt told the TT news agency that the scene of the attack had been examined, and the results sent for forensic analysis.

"If it turns out that the motive is his political allegiance then it is obviously a hate crime," he said.

Supporters have responded to the Facebook post to praise the politician's bravery, with one writing: "All respect for your strength and your courage, and for your struggle for democracy. We are here for you and for the struggle for democracy."

"I am proud to be your party-mate Patrik, and extremely sorry for what you have been exposed to. Your courage and power are incredibly inspiring," said another.

Sweden's Left Party is the sixth largest in the country, and calls itself socialist and pro-feminist. Its main focuses are jobs, welfare services, and gender equality.