A Norwegian man and two of his sons have been indicted on charges of violence and threats against a Somalian-Norwegian family in Elverum. The family ended up moving out of the small city east of Hamar in Innland County, which has become known for other racist incidents as well.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the racially motivated harassment of the Somalian-Norwegian mother and her two daughters extended over several years. It climaxed last summer when the daughters visited their Norwegian neighbours to say they’d had enough. According to the indictment released Wednesday, the two sons aged 15 and 18 responded by chasing the young women while waving an iron bar and with a German shepard dog running ahead of them.
A few days later, both the Norwegian man and his 15-year-old son allegedly chased the Somalian-Norwegian mother into her home, hit her with a wooden plank and yelled racial slurs after her, with the father yelling “I’ll kill you.” The father has a prior offense of hurling expressions of hatred against the Somalian-Norwegian family, for which he was sentenced to 45 days in prison in 2017. He also was indicted for making threats against the police when one of his sons fought with several boys of foreign background in downtown Elverum in December of last year.
Officials in the small city with a population of around 20,000 say they have tried to address local racism, not least after complaints from other minority families. The Norwegian father’s defense attorney in this case, however, claims his client was “disappointed and shocked” by the indictment and says he’s done nothing wrong. He and his sons must meet in court together, shortly after New Year.