• Sweden edition
 
Swedish diplomat attacked in Belarus

Swedish diplomat attacked in Belarus

Published: 23 Jun 2011 14:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Jun 2011 14:10 GMT+02:00

Sweden's top diplomat in Belarus was attacked by police at an anti-government protest in Minsk on Wednesday, prompting foreign minister Carl Bildt to summon the Belarussian ambassador.

David Emtestam, 31, was on hand to observe a demonstration in the Belarussian capital Minsk when he was attacked by several law enforcement officers.

"He was attacked by some sort of special police force and was kicked a number of times," foreign ministry spokesperson Tobias Nilsson told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Following the incident, Emtestam was eventually released when an ordinary police officer intervened.

A spokeswoman for Bildt said Emtestam was "kept at the site against his will for a little while and roughly handled" but was not taken away.

The violence meted out to Emtestam and other protestors, prompted a strong condemnation from Bildt, who has called the Belarussian ambassador in Stockholm into the foreign ministry for an explanation.

"We condemn the violence towards, and arrests of, peaceful demonstrators carried out by the Belarusian regime," Bildt said in a statement.

"Only yesterday evening, a Swedish diplomat in Minsk was also subjected to this violence. This is completely unacceptable and constitutes further confirmation of the country's lack of respect for fundamental democratic rights, a shortcoming that Sweden and the EU have clearly criticised on a great number of occasions."

Emtestam normally serves as the Swedish embassy's second in command, but as Ambassador Stefan Eriksson is currently on leave, he is the embassy's acting chargé d'affaires.

Emtestam was, according to Swedish media, observing the demonstration, in which around 3,000 people took part.

According to an AFP reporter in Minsk, at least 25 people, including many journalists, were arrested during the opposition demonstration that had been called for on social networks.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:01 June 23, 2011 by wenddiver
Is participating in a protest against the sitting government very Diplomatic?
15:48 June 23, 2011 by karex
There is a big difference between "participation" and "observation". Diplomats are not allowed to participate in anything as they must be impartial at all times, even when their countries of origin have taken an official stance one way or another. The official stance stands for an opinion, participation is not included.
16:49 June 23, 2011 by wenddiver
If you are mixed in with the demonstrators, so thoroughly that the riot police beat you up, I would guess your doing a little more than observing. Belorussia's government is dispicable, but you always have to look out for your own safety.
17:44 June 23, 2011 by rise
wenddiver why are you defending this, and this last dictatorship in Europe?
02:01 June 26, 2011 by wenddiver
@Rise-Not sure he's the last Dictator, but really jut hoping the People of he country will be allowed to lead their own Revolution without outside interference. It will take longer, but will be better for the country in the long run.
Today's headlines
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
House keys: Shutterstock.

On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends

Finding somewhere to live when you move to Sweden is a challenge. With changes afoot The Local caught up with an expert from letting agency Residensportalen to find out in what direction the market is going, and how Google Glasses may just help you find your dream home. READ () »

The Local List
Ten most disgusting Swedish foods
Salty liquorice, anyone? Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Ten most disgusting Swedish foods

Swedish food is, of course, a matter of taste. But it's mostly disgusting. Our loyal followers on Twitter and Facebook shared what they thought were the worst of them all. READ () »

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Advertisement:
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com