Man sentenced over Swedish mosque arson

Östersunds-Posten reports that a 21-year-old man who caused a fire in a Muslim prayer room in Strömsund in August last year has been sentenced to eight months in prison for arson.

The Court of Appeal increased the punishment imposed earlier by Östersund’s District Court, where the sentence was probation for theft and vandalism.

The man was out with some friends in Strömsund, and when they passed a block of flats in the residential Tingvalla area he took them into a room in the basement that was used as a prayer room by Muslims.

The man stole some books and later that night returned to the prayer room. This time, he set fire to a curtain and the fire quickly spread through the premises.

The Appeal Court found the man guilty of arson. The prayer room would have been completely burnt out if outsiders had not intervened, and residents in the building could have been at risk if the fire had continued unchecked.

Under normal circumstances, the man would have been given a two-years prison sentence for arson, but the court reduced the sentence to eight months, and taking into account that the man was 19 when the crime was committed and that he had also completed community service in accordance with the District Court ruling.