A man working at the Swedish Migration Board is to face disciplinary action after telling an Iraqi couple that their baby looks like Saddam Hussein.
The administrator, who has worked for Migrationsverket for 30 years, also admits assaulting a female colleague after she reported him for making racist remarks.
The first incident came when the proud asylum-seeking parents asked the Swede who he thought their newborn baby looked like during an interview. Rather than picking either the mother or the father as expected, the man replied “Saddam Hussein,” according to a report by The Local.
On another occasion, the administrator was apparently perturbed by a woman wearing a headscarf in the reception area, and afterwards asked the female colleague who dealt with her, “How does it feel to talk to ‘one of those’?”
The co-worker, who the man had also boasted to about his quip to the Iraqi parents, reported him for both incidents. After he received a reprimand from the bosses for his actions, the administrator then deliberately pushed the woman twice in front of other shocked employees as he passed her in the corridor.
The man has admitted to all the accusations but claims the Saddam Hussein comment was meant as a joke. He apparently acknowledges that it was inappropriate, but maintains that women conducting business with authorities should not be wearing headscarves.
Supervisors have had numerous other conversations with the man about his attitude towards asylum seekers and his colleagues since 2007, according to a report from the disciplinary committee obtained by The Local.
“The incidents described above show, according to the judgement of the section head, that the reprimands have had no effect,” the section head wrote in his report, adding that “under no circumstances can violent behaviour and the like be tolerated in the workplace”.
The man has been transferred to a role where he has no public contact while disciplinary measures are considered.