Hundreds protested Sweden’s new anti-terror laws

Hundreds of people protested against the new anti-terror legislation in Stockholm on Sunday, June 4. The new law was passed to address Turkey’s opposition to Sweden joining NATO.

The demonstration was organized by groups close to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Only last week the party warned against “terrorists” being allowed to demonstrate in Sweden.

Turkey’s President Erdogan has so far blocked Sweden’s NATO membership. He’s been accusing Stockholm of being a haven for Kurdish activists. To address his concerns, Sweden passed a new law that criminalizes “participation in a terrorist organization”.

“They are after the Kurds in Sweden,” Tomas Pettersson, spokesperson for the Alliance Against NATO, told AFP at the protest that was titled “No to NATO, No Erdogan Laws in Sweden.” Protesters waved numerous PKK flags, along with signs reading “No to NATO.”

“Our membership in NATO would cause a lot of blackmail from Erdogan,” former Swedish MP Amineh Kakabaveh told AFP.

A spokesperson for Erdogan said it was “completely unacceptable that PKK terrorists continue to operate freely in Sweden.” He then urged Swedish authorities to block the protest.

Even though the PKK is considered a terrorist organization in Sweden, its supporters are generally allowed to protest in public.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called on Turkey to drop its opposition to Sweden’s bid, after he met with Erdogan in Turkey on Sunday. He stated that Stockholm has been addressing the security concerns Turkey may have.

Turkey suspended negotiations with Sweden in outrage after a Quran burning outside the Turkey’s embassy in Stockholm in January.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

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