'She was not only my daughter, she was my angel': Heartbroken mother of refugee worker '
The mother of the young Swedish social worker who was allegedly stabbed to death by a 15-year-old asylum seeker at a shelter for refugee children wept today and said, 'She was not just my daughter, she was my angel.'
Alexandra Mezher, 22, was working alone with ten youths aged between 14 and 17 when she was attacked at the home for unaccompanied young migrants in Mölndal, near Gothenburg. She later died of her injuries in hospital.
Chiméne Mezher, 42, today spoke of her anguish at the loss of her daughter as the family blamed Swedish politicians for her death. Sweden is one of the main destinations for refugees and migrants entering the EU and police warn they cannot cope with the tide of migrant-related crime.
Paying tribute to her 'angel', her mother wept: 'She was my air, she was my everything, why her?'
'She was not just my daughter, she was my angel. She was a just and fair human being. There were so many who loved her. She was my daughter, my friend.. my mate,' Mrs Mezher told GoteborgsPosten.
Miss Mezher's cousin also told Swedish media: 'It is the Swedish politicians' fault that she is dead.'
The incident comes amid rising tensions over migration in Sweden. The number of threats and violent incidents at asylum facilities doubled between 2014 and 2015.
Police have warned the city's train station is 'overrun' by gangs of migrants who are 'groping' women and have called for more resources to cope.
Prime minister Stefan Lofven has also admitted that many people are fearful of a similar attack because 'Sweden receives so many children and youths arriving alone'. Last year Sweden took in more than 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015, putting it among the EU states with the highest proportion of refugees per capita.
Alexandra, of Lebanese Christian origin, lived with her parents Boutros, 46, and Chiméne Mezher, and her younger brothers in Borås, some 40 miles from Molndal.
Her father came to Sweden from Beirut, Lebanon, in 1989 and her mother moved there three years later.
It has now emerged that Miss Mezher had been working alone at the housing in Mölndal, which is home to ten unaccompanied minors.
Despite rules that the staff should work in pairs, Miss Mezher had been working a nightshift all by herself and was attacked just half-an-hour before daytime staff were due to take over.
Miss Mezher, a psychology graduate from the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, was reportedly planning to return to university to do a masters degree in social science.
She completed a three-year course in social science for communication and learning and called her dissertation, 'The road to non criminal - a lifestyle change'.
Written with another student, she researched the factors which help offenders break from a life of crime.
It concludes that to make a lifestyle change and be able to break a delinquent behaviour, social workers need to build trust in relationships'.
Miss Mezher's cousin said: 'It is so terrible. She was a person who wanted to do good, who wanted to be good.
'And then he murdered her when she was doing her job. We have cried a lot. She was such a nice person, warm and happy.'
Miss Mezher had worked at the centre in Mölndal where she was murdered for a few months.
It is is home to ten unaccompanied children aged 14-17, who arrived in Sweden seeking asylum without a parent or a guardian.
Police said Miss Mezher was attacked shortly before 8am on Monday by a boy, who was then apprehended by other children living at the centre.
She was taken to Sahlgrenska Hospital in Gothenburg, but died later on Monday as a result of her injuries.
Officers discovered a knife at the scene and the teenager has since been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Swedish police have today praised the actions of the other children living in the facility, hailing them 'heroes' after they overpowered the boy after he attacked Miss Mezher.
'Two boys held him down. It is a very good intervention. Had he intended to hurt anyone else, then they have prevented that,' police spokesperson Peter Adlersson told Expressen.
'It is easy to become injured yourself when interveaning in this kind of situation. We are very greatful for these kinds of actions.'
The asylum center has provoked unrest in Molndal, on Sweden's west coast.
Neighbourhood-watch groups have reportedly been sent out to prevent teenage girls from being sexually harassed on their way home from the commuter trains from Gothenburg.
Parents have also spoken out against having their children in the same classes as the immigrants.
The stabbing occurred on the same day as police in Sweden demanded more resources to stem rising violence apparently linked to the migrant crisis.
Police spokesman Thomas Fuxborg, who refused to reveal details of the murder suspect's nationality, said: 'These kinds of calls are becoming more and more common.
'We're dealing with more incidents like these since the arrival of so many more refugees from abroad.'
National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson requested 4,100 additional officers and support staff to help fight against terrorism, carry out migrant deportations and police asylum facilities.
He said: 'We are forced to respond to many disturbances in asylum reception centres. In some places, this takes significant police resources.
'This was not the case six months ago and it means that we won't be able to respond as effectively in other areas.'
According to the Swedish Migration Agency, the number of threats and violent incidents at asylum facilities more than doubled between 2014 and 2015.
In 2014, there were 148 incidents but in 2015 that number jumped to 322.
Meanwhile arson attacks targeting asylum shelters have also surged, with at least two dozen centres reduced to ashes or damaged by fire last year.
Also weighing on police resources are border controls introduced on January 4 and a higher national terrorist threat level after the Paris attacks in November.
'Many of the problems we are now facing help to prove the point that Swedish police have long been underfunded and under-staffed,' police union director Lena Nitz, told TT.
'It is obvious that the migrant situation is a great strain. It has become clear that the situation is completely unsustainable.'
The police request for more resources comes as greater attention is being focused on allegations of violence by young migrants across Europe, with some countries expressing doubt about their ability to integrate them into society.
Like the rest of Europe, Sweden has been struggling with the continent's biggest migration crisis since World War II.
A country of 9.8 million, Sweden took in more than 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015, putting it among the EU states with the highest proportion of refugees per capita.
It has since tightened its asylum rules to curb the migrant flow.
MailOnline reported that a number of girls have reportedly been sexually assaulted by young male asylum seekers at a public swimming pool in central Stockholm.
The alleged perpetrators are all 'unaccompanied minors' - young refugee boys who have arrived in Sweden seeking asylum without a parent or guardian.
The four cases involve girls under the age of 18 and all sexual assaults have taken place in hot tubs, pools or in the changing rooms if Eriksdalsbadet, Stockholm, in the past three weeks.
Eriksdalsbadet, which is the biggest aquatics centre in Stockholm, has previously reported an spike in sexual assaults - mainly incidents involving boys and young men groping women.
At the same time Swedish police have warned that Stockholm's main train station has become unsafe after being ‘taken over’ by dozens of Moroccan street children.
The all-male migrant teen gangs are spreading terror in the centre of the Swedish capital, stealing, groping girls and assaulting security guards, according to Stockholm police.
Members of the gangs, some as young as nine, roam central Stockholm day and night, refusing help provided by the Swedish authorities.
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