Bus driver in Sweden segregates riders

March 23, 2013 at 2:34 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 23 (UPI) -- A bus driver in Sweden forced dark-skinned passengers to ride on different buses from whites on a route between Stockholm and Finland, the bus company said.

Several passengers said they noticed the driver directing "Swedish looking" people on one bus while darker skinned people were forced on a second bus.

"It was a very unpleasant experience. ... It felt like we were on our way to [the] airport to be deported from Sweden," one of the passengers, Samer Chatila, said.

Chatila attends school on the Finnish archipelago on the island of Aland. He and his brother, Ahmad, and a friend were making the trip, TheLocal.se said Saturday. When they approached the bus the driver directed them to a different bus and walked them over to it to ensure they got on board. At first Chatila said he thought the driver was being helpful, but quickly saw what was happening.

"We felt insulted, offended and discriminated against," said Chatila. "I never thought this could happen in our Sweden."

The company operating the bus, People Travel Group, confirmed it had received several complaints. A representative said it is not company policy to divide passengers by race or appearance and said it happened due to a lone worker who will be interviewed by his superiors Monday regarding his actions.

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