August 17, 1995
Kode, Kungälv Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden
John Hron (14) is beaten and drowned by four neo-Nazis
Hron and a friend were camping by a lake when four boys, ages 15-18 and all of whom embraced the neo-nazi ideology, approached. The youngest, Mikael Fjällholm, and Hron knew each other from school, where Fjällholm was known to be a bully while Hron was outspoken against racism and bullying.
The boys entered the campsite Hron and his friend were using and demanded Hron say he “loves nazism.” When Hron refused, the group began a “cat-and-mouse” style of torture, beating and insulting him one moment then offering him beers and apologies before beating him again. His head was beaten and his stomach stomped on, he was pushed into the campfire and hit with burning wood, and his belongings and tent were set on fire.
After hours of beating and torture, Hron was thrown or pushed into the lake. He tried to make his escape by swimming away, but his attackers yelled to him to return or they’d kill his friend. He returned, only to be beaten unconscious and thrown back into the lake where he drowned. His friend was able to hitch a ride home to notify police of the murder.
The leader of the gang, 18-year-old Daniel Hansson, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for murder; he was released January 1, 2001. Fjällholm received a sentence of 5 years in closed institutional youth care. The two other murderers were sentenced to 10 months and 4 months in prison.
Hron was posthumously awarded the inaugural Stig Dagerman Prize for free speech and world peace in 1996.