• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Snake hunt after man claims playground bite
The Swedish adder. Photo: Piet Spaans

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite

A man claimed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake at a paddling pool in Gothenburg on Thursday prompting a hunt which ended without a trace of the offending reptile. READ  

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'
Swedish girls in Stockholm. Photo: Susanne Walström/Imagebank Sweden

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'

Following a Nordic survey in which Swedes were voted the "most attractive", The Local hit the streets to see what Stockholmers thought. READ  

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
The Blomdahl family in Berlin. Photo: Private

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin

Edvin Blomdahl is seven-years-old. He also cycled from Sweden to Berlin, a journey of 370 kilometres, in four days. READ  

Opinion
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Demonstrations at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Photo: Kent Vilhelmsson

'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'

As the rhetoric rises at demonstrations in Swedish cities, Stockholm-based Israeli writer David Stavrou calls on Swedes to think before they shout and to cast a critical eye over much that is written and said about the conflict in Gaza. READ  

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to north Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden

A British man is set next month to drive from Scotland, across Sweden, and to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'
This canine friend is not amused. Photo: TT

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'

Swedish weather agency SMHI has raised its weather warning to class 2, giving notice of "extremely high temperatures" in parts of the country. READ  

Songs for a hot Swedish summer
Ted Gärdestad. Photo: TT

Songs for a hot Swedish summer

Contributor Paul Connolly has put together a list of Swedish songs to capture balmy summer days, which in his neck of the northern woods are pushing the mercury above 35c for the first time in a century. READ  

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun
Photo: TT

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun

Stockholm's local traffic authority has received almost 300 complaints since June 1st with many regarding stifling heat on the city's buses, which lack air con. READ  

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
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

713
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
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
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