STOCKHOLM (AFP) – A prominent Swedish psychiatrist stabbed to death in broad daylight on the island of Gotland during a political event was likely targeted because of her professional background, authorities said on Thursday (July 7).
Ing-Marie Wieselgren, 64, was attacked on Wednesday in the city of Visby, which is currently hosting a gathering of Sweden’s top politicians.
Wieselgren was a long-time psychiatrist who was working as a project manager and coordinator with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.
There had been reports of links between the suspect and neo-Nazi group NMR, but public prosecutor Petra Gotell told a news conference that there was no apparent connection and that the suspect had apparently acted alone.
“In our assessment the deceased woman was the perpetrator’s intended target,” Gotell said. “It could be because of her public profile and long engagement with issues of Swedish psychiatric care,” she added.
The prosecutor said a 32-year-old suspect, arrested after the attack, had confessed to killing Wieselgren.
“There are reports of him suffering from mental health issues and that he committed the act under the influence of narcotics,” Gotell said.
The suspect’s explanation suggested it was directed at “psychiatric care”, she said.
Prosecutors had also requested the man be remanded in custody, with a court hearing planned for Friday morning, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.
The incident shocked Sweden during Almedalen Week, an annual event gathering most of Sweden’s elite in Visby, where political parties often present new policy and launch campaigns.