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Archive for Sweden

Newsline: Stockholm court sentences Russian embassy attacker to compulsory psychological treatment

The Stockholm District Court has sentenced Leonid Karnyushin, who committed a string of violent trespassing offenses against the Russian embassy and inflicted damaged on Russia’s diplomatic property in January, to a mandatory treatment order and a major fine, a court spokesperson told TASS. “The court has sentenced Karnyushin to mandatory treatment, the duration of which will be determined by doctors. He will also have to pay a fine of 106,794 Swedish kronas ($12,967),” the court spokesperson said. Swedish prosecutors charged Karnyuhsin with three counts of maliciously breaking and entering into diplomatic premises and trespassing, two counts of inflicting damage and attempted assault on officials. On January 6, Karnyushin rammed his car through the barrier arm at the ambassadorial parking lot and then drove through the gate of the Russian trade mission’s garage. On January 8, he damaged the gate of the trade mission’s administrative building while driving a truck. On January 10, he broke into the embassy premises and damaged video surveillance equipment on the trade mission’s premises. Following each incident, the police would detain Karnyushin and then release him several hours later. On January 13, he was apprehended for trespassing and inflicting damage. He pleaded guilty and said that his conduct was due to his anger at Russian diplomats who had denied him a Russian entry visa and “were behaving as if they were in Russia.” Last week, the results of his forensic examination were made public, which showed that Karnyuhsin was suffering from a mental disorder.



Newsline: Sweden summons Russian ambassador over nerve toxin claim

The Swedish foreign ministry said it would summon Russia’s ambassador on Tuesday over Moscow’s claim that Sweden could be the source of a nerve toxin used in the Skripal attack in Britain. Britain accuses Russia of being behind the attack in Salisbury on Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy for the West, and his daughter Yulia, using the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. Moscow has poured scorn on the allegations and a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Saturday the most likely source of the agent was Britain itself, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the United States or Sweden. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has called that claim “unacceptable and unfounded”.


Newsline: Swedish parliament demands withdrawal of ambassador from Turkey

Members of the Swedish Parliament have demanded that their government withdraws its ambassador from Ankara in protest at the ongoing Turkish military offensive on Syria’s Afrin. Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallström, and members of Sweden’s Left Party and Green Party were present during the meeting, Iraqi news outlet K24 reported. The lawmakers called on the government to pressure Ankara to stop its “illegitimate” attacks on the Kurdish region of Afrin. “We are working within the Swedish and European Parliament to stop the fierce attack by Turkey on [Afrin], which has left innocent civilians, including women and children, dead,” Amineh Kakabaveh, a Kurdish MP from the Left Party was quoted by K24 as saying. Sweden should “withdraw its ambassador from Ankara and declare its rejection of the brutal attacks by the Turkish army on Afrin and other areas in western Kurdistan,” Jabar Amin of the Green Party told K24.


Newsline: Sweden’s First Female Ambassador to the U.S.

Karin Olofsdotter took office late last year as the new ambassador of Sweden to the United States. She is no stranger to America, but takes pride in being the first woman to hold such a role in Washington. During her career, she has run the Department for Promotion of Sweden, Trade and CSR in Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, served as her country’s ambassador in Budapest, Hungary, and held positions in the Swedish embassies in the U.S. and Russia, as well as in the Mission of Sweden to NATO. At 51, Olofsdotter is one of those bold officials who have raised their family across borders and traveled the world to promote her country’s cultural and political agenda, all while having fun and defying stereotypes.


Newsline: Swedish embassy in Iran investigated over improper visa processing

Two employees at Sweden’s embassy in Teheran have been suspended from their positions over suspicions of improper visa processing. Sweden’s Foreign Ministry (UD) has been investigating irregularities at the embassy since the summer, Sveriges Radio reports. “It’s to do with migration questions and involves the handling of visas so clearly it’s serious,” UD press head Sofia Karlberg told Sveriges Radio’s Ekot show. Runar Hellström, manager at Sweden’s Migration Agency Migrationsverket, explained that improper visa processing could mean for example that visas have been granted despite requirements not being met, or evidently incorrect documents are accepted in processing.


Newsline: Sweden summons Turkey ambassador after Swedish citizen charged

Sweden summoned Turkey’s ambassador on Monday over concerns that a Swedish citizen, among 11 other activists, risks up to 15 years in prison in a case that has sparked international outrage. Ali Gharavi, an IT consultant and writer, was detained while attending a July 5th workshop in Istanbul along with several other human rights activists, including Amnesty International’s Turkey director. Turkish prosecutors on Sunday sought prison terms of up to 15 years for the activists, the Dogan news agency said. Gharavi, who is of Iranian origin, has worked as the IT head at the Center for Victims of Torture, an international nonprofit group. It is the third time that Sweden has summoned the Turkish ambassador this year over Gharavi’s detention. Turkey accuses the activists, who include German citizen Peter Steudtner as well as the director of Amnesty Turkey, Idil Eser, and its Turkey chair, Taner Kilic, of “supporting an armed terror group”. But human rights groups say the detentions are aimed at silencing political dissent in a crackdown under the state of emergency imposed after last year’s coup attempt.


Newsline: Canadian pastor freed from North Korean prison after efforts from Swedish embassy

Relatives of a Canadian pastor released this week after more than two years in a North Korean prison say he is “on his way home” and they are anxious to be reunited with him. The Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korea’s central court had decided to free Hyeong Soo Lim, who was serving a life sentence for anti-state activities. The pastor’s release was described as “sick bail,” but no other details were given. In a statement Thursday, a spokeswoman for his family said “there is a long way to go” in terms of Lim’s healing and stressed the need for privacy as he receives unspecified medical attention. Lisa Pak also said the family is grateful to the Canadian government and the Swedish embassy in North Korea for working behind the scenes to secure the pastor’s freedom. She did not say when he was scheduled to arrive in Canada.

Canadian pastor freed from North Korean prison after efforts from Swedish embassy: family