• Sweden edition
 
SWEDES JAILED IN ETHIOPIA
Bildt rejects mounting Ethiopia criticism

Bildt rejects mounting Ethiopia criticism

Published: 07 Oct 2011 07:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Oct 2011 07:30 GMT+02:00

“Let those who know what they’re doing handle it,” Bildt said to TV4 on Thursday.

Bildt waved off a new motion handed in by the Greens on Thursday, proposing that it might be better if the prime minister handles the matter as “party political bickering”.

According to the Greens, not enough is being done to ensure the Swedish reporters’ return to Sweden.

“The government need to step it up,” Mats Pertoft, MP for the Green Party, told TV4.

The two freelance reporters Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson were arrested in the beginning of July, in the Ogaden province of Ethiopia, bordering on Somalia, and charged with terror crimes.

The two journalists had entered the country illegally and were in the company of the region’s ONLF guerrillas at the time of their arrest.

From the beginning the pair have been adamant that they are innocent of terrorist charges.

Recently there has been speculation in the Swedish media whether the two were in the country to report on Lundin Petroleum, a Swedish oil and mining company, at the time of their arrest.

In a report from 2010, ECOS (European Coalition on Oil in Sudan), an umbrella group of European organizations published a report called "Unpaid Debt", urging Sweden, Austria and Malaysia to probe whether Lundin Petroleum (then Lundin Oil), in consortium with Petronas and OMV, had broken international law between 1997 and 2003.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt was on the board of directors of Lundin Petroleum at the time.

However, on Thursday Carl Bildt rejected any claims that his previous involvement with the company would have an impact on the dealings with Ethiopia in the case of the two jailed reporters.

“Why would it? There is no conceivable reason for that. I don’t believe that Lundin Petroleum is in that area but even if they were, it would be totally irrelevant,” Bildt said on Thursday.

Although the Greens don’t have confirmation of a connection between the foreign minister and the area, they think that the government must take a more stern approach in the matter.

“And one way of doing that, irrespective of Carl Bildt, is to hand the issue over to the prime minister,” Pertoft said.

However, Bildt said to TV4 that he thinks it is better to let those that are dealing with the matter continue their work on it.

“At the foreign ministry, we have considerable experience in these matters. Sometimes we solve things without you even hearing about them, and other times we make use of loud diplomacy,” Bildt said on Thursday.

On Friday demonstrations are planned by the organization Reporters without Borders, the Swedish Journalists' Union and the Swedish Publishers' Association in Gothenburg and Stockholm.

The organisations demand that the government give the case the highest political priority, that Bildt and Reinfeldt officially show their support of the two Swedes and that the matter is raised internationally.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

09:20 October 7, 2011 by HYBRED
Maybe the reporters were just investigating why the Ethiopians do so well at marathon running. Or do to the rising obesity in Sweden, they were investigating how the Ethiopians stay so thin. In any event, they entered the country illegally. Just because you call yourself a reporter doesn't give you automatic access to wherever you want to go.
11:55 October 7, 2011 by lovedealer76
Why has the Green MP accuses the foreign minister of something they them selves don't have a clue?in my opinion,they are just trying to be politically correct in the public eyes.

Even the swedish prime minister won't find those journalist release any easier,is not like the Ethiopian goverment was interested in any financial favours from sweden only then it can be easy,it's rather unfortunate those journalist just mess with the wrong country given their violent history.......
12:49 October 7, 2011 by diegoveggie
this guy is a total douch. ont only he wastes tax money on fancy drinks with his pals but he doesnt do the job hes paid to do.
13:11 October 7, 2011 by lovedealer76
@diegoveggie

I'm sorry can you elaborate on your facts on the foreign minister please?or else i should be thinking of you as the Green MP on the same senseless attacks
13:43 October 7, 2011 by RobinHood
Busting "spies" out of tin pot dictatorships takes considerable amounts of time and tax payers' money. The journalists value will reach a maximum only after they have been convicted of spying and sentenced to death. At that point Mr Bildt will be informed how much it will cost Sweden to extract its citizens. The money will be delivered, the journalists will be released, and the presedent of Ethipia and his repulsive family will all buy Ferraris and houses in Paris and London with the proceeds.

Of course, if the Green party knows another way, they should tell us what it is.
17:47 October 7, 2011 by Munir Ahmed
AMAZING!

A Black reporter with Swedish citizenship has been rotting in jail in Eritrea for 10 years having broken no law, yet Swedes are calling for "highest political priority" when two White Swedish reporters get captured after admittedly crossing Somalia-Ethiopia border illegally with known terrorists. SICK!

Ogaden (ONLF) Islamic terrorist civilian massacres, ignored by $$$ hungry Swedish reporters:

BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6588055.stm
18:26 October 7, 2011 by prince T
This case is different. Isaac has Eriterian nationality which allows the government to arrest him under international law. I am not praising so called silent diplomacy but stating that swedish power on Isaac case is limited. I think it is high time that sweden changes from quoet to loud diplomacy.
Today's headlines
National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

National
Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions
A Gripen plane was scrambled to see off the Russian planes. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions

UPDATED: Sweden has summoned the Russian Ambassador for a dressing down after two Russian planes violated Swedish airspace last week. READ  

Elections 2014
'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

UPDATED: Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven says he is positive that his party can co-operate with the former governing Alliance on some issues. READ  

Lifestyle
Introducing...Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking comes to live at the Astrid Lindgren theme park. Photo: TT

Introducing...Astrid Lindgren

The creator of Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren, is the most translated author from Sweden, and has filled children's imaginations since the 1940s. The Local finds out why her work has become a timeless classic. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

864
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
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN