John Hron (25 January 1981 in Kungälv – 17 August 1995 in Kungälv) was a Swedish boy who was tortured and murdered by four young men on 17 August 1995. The month before his death, John had won a bronze medal in the national canoeing youth championships.
John was camping with a friend by the small lake Ingetorpssjön near the town Kode in Kungälv Municipality. Four young men, aged 15, 17, 18 and 18, appeared. The men all had ties to the neonazi subculture. John knew the youngest one, Mikael, from school. Mikael whom had been a bully at school for some time and in his own testimony he says “I must have scared every last one in that school”. John whom always spoke his mind had come in conflict with Mikael. Eventually Mikael threaten to kill John. That evening, John was beaten and told to say that he loves Nazis. John refused and was eventually thrown into the water. John started to swim away. They Shouted to John to swim back, but he didn’t answer. They then threatened to kill John’s friend instead. John then made the incredibly courageous choice to swim back and lay down his life for his friend. The torture continued and two of the attackers continued kicking him in the head for several minutes. After he became unconscious, they threw John’s fractured body in the water. He sunk to the bottom and drowned. His friend, Christian, hitched a ride home and alert the authorities. John Hron died 17 augusti 1995. Hron posthumously received the inaugural Stig Dagerman Prize “… For his courage, to even at the cost of his own life resist evil.”
In the court, the 18-year-old boy who was the main person behind the abuse was sentenced to eight years in prison for murder. He was released on 1 January 2001. A 15-year-old boy was sentenced to five years closed institutional youth care. The two others were sentenced to ten and four months in prison, respectively. The case received a lot of attention in Sweden. In 1996, Hron posthumously received the inaugural Stig Dagerman Prize for free speech and world peace. Hron’s grave has since been desecrated several times.