The EU demand on Sweden: “Take action” against freedom of expression


Published 26 January 2023 at 07.10

EU. The burning of the Koran that was carried out outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm by the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan has caused the European Commission to direct demands against Sweden. According to the Commission, blasphemy – or “hatred based on religion” as it is called – has no place in the European Union.

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Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has pointed out that it is not illegal to burn the Koran in Sweden.

But during a press conference at the European Commission, a journalist pointed out that the incident was perceived as a hate crime and not as an expression of freedom of expression.

Commission spokesperson Johannes Bahrke answered the question and said:

– We are aware of the incident. We are also aware of the reaction from the Swedish authorities. There may be measures from our side as well.

What measures the commission can take against Sweden is, however, unclear. But Bahrke says:

– This does not correspond to the values ​​on which the EU is based. We have previously said that racism, xenophobia, hatred based on religion, race, skin color have no place in the European Union. But this is an event that the Swedish authorities must investigate and for the Swedish authorities to take measures against, if appropriate.