"They are blonde and blend in with the crowd, so you don't notice their presence except in brothels"

At the beginning of March, the Swedish journalist Elaf Ali in the humorous program "IFS - invandrare för svenskar" (Immigrants for the Swedes) of the public TV channel SVT said about women from Ukraine that they can only be seen in brothels.

In a scandalous episode of the comedy show IFS on March 7, host Ahmed Berhan asked which group of immigrants received the most residence permits in Sweden in 2022. Journalist and writer Elaf Ali replied that they are Ukrainian women: "They are blonde and blend in with the crowd, so you don't notice their presence, except in brothels."

"Every third Ukrainian woman I spoke with encountered offers to work in prostitution in Sweden. "Extra" work is when refugees are offered regular work, for example, cleaning; or provide accommodation and then offer to have sex for money. But it's one thing to say stupid words on the street, in a bar, etc., another thing - from the television screens to an audience of millions during a television program that should improve mutual understanding between representatives of different peoples living in Sweden."
Christina Gevchuk
Head of the RefugeeHope organization

"Insulting honor and dignity is a violation of Swedish legislation"

Such a "joke" on Swedish television motivated not only the activist of the NGO "RefugeeHope" to action. UA&SE", as well as hundreds of Ukrainian women who left their complaints on the TV channel's website.

If you are a refugee from Ukraine, who after the said phrase (i.e. March 7, 2024):
  • suffered psychological trauma due to these statements from the television screen;
  • received unpleasant offers to engage in "prostitution", "sex for money"
  • I heard joking words in my direction about "the frivolity of Ukrainian women"
  • received a different attitude at work, studies, etc., because of the expressed "joke" on television
or Your children, relatives had such an unpleasant situation when they were bullied or mocked, etc., because of this expression -
please fill out this questionnaire.
You can, if you wish, remain anonymous (indicate this in the questionnaire).

Freedom of speech does not mean permission to joke about any topic. Such restrictions are established in Swedish legislation:

Spreading hatred against a group of persons


There are certain protections that limit freedom of speech. For example, there is a defense against inciting hatred against a group of persons (Chapter 16, Article 8 of the Criminal Code). Incitement to hatred against a group of persons is punishable by a person who publicly disseminates statements threatening or offensive to a group of persons, with reference to race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation.

Defamation and insult

The law provides protection against defamation. Defamation means pointing out someone as a criminal, criticizing his way of life or providing any other information intended to cause others to disregard that person (according to paragraph 1, section 5 of the Criminal Code). The information must be of an offensive nature, and it is sufficient that the information was intended to cause others to disregard the person.

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Ukrainian refugees were called POVIES on a TV show

"They are blonde and blend in with the crowd, so you don't notice their presence. Except like in brothels." In Sweden, a TV show participant unsuccessfully joked about Ukrainian refugees.

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What is wrong with the Swedish journalist's humor about Ukrainian women and why she refuses to apologize

Letter to the editor. The joke in SVT about Ukrainians should be tried in court


Formal complaint regarding degrading comments in SVT broadcasting

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