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Right wing extremists threaten press watchdog

Right wing extremists threaten press watchdog

Published: 24 Sep 2012 17:26 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Sep 2012 17:26 GMT+02:00

Sweden’s Press Ombudsman (Allmänhetens PressombudsmanPO) Ola Sigvardsson has been subjected to threats after publishing a text where he questioned the publication of the images of the subway robber in Swedish media.

On Saturday, Sigvardsson filed a report with the police after someone had drawn a subway track on the pavement outside his central Stockholm apartment, on which a picture of the robber had been placed and animal blood poured over.

“They say that it is a threat against me,” said Sigvardsson to the Medievärlden newspaper.

Sigvardsson told the paper that he is convinced that it is a column he wrote for the paper that triggered the incident.

In the column, which was published prior to the arrest of the suspect, Sigvardsson wrote that he wished for the robber to be caught as soon as possible:

“But the question to Sweden’s publishers is whether what has happened is such that the media can ignore the traditional caution when it comes to identifying suspects. Should the media play a part in the hunt for the suspect?”

According to Sigvardsson, daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) as well as newspapers Aftonbladet and Expressen would answer in the affirmative, whereas Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) chose not to publish the picture.

Sigvardsson didn’t rule out that the media could play a role in informing the public about a potential danger but concluded that he, for one, did not long for “online hunts for suspected criminals”.

Despite many commenters being outraged with Sigvardsson’s column, he told the paper that he has no regrets:

“I don’t think I went out on a limb but was simply reasoning back and forth. I even argued that there are times when it is ethical for the press to inform the public as to the identity of a suspected criminal,” said Sigvardsson to Medievärlden.

A right wing extremist group later claimed responsibility for Saturday’s stunt outside Sigvardsson’s dwelling on their Facebook page.

The editor-in-chief of Medievärlden, Axel Andén has condemned the deed:

“It is completely unacceptable that a writer has been threatened in his home for writing a column. That is a threat against the freedom of speech and is very unpleasant for Ola Sigvardsson and his relatives,” Andén told the paper.

The Local/rm


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

22:07 September 24, 2012 by Richard Head
Well, at least he doesn't have people showing up to his house with knives or physically assaulting him on the street. Those actions are reserved for the far more violent, extreme left. But we never hear about that.

Aside from that, his article was an exercise in stupidity. This guy was caught within days thanks to the images being posted and help from the public. Under normal circumstances, the police would have never found this guy and he would still be roaming the streets....all in the name of keeping people's heads in the sand as it pertains to ME/NA crime. Hopefully, Swedish PK media has learned something from this incident.
23:02 September 24, 2012 by star10
I don't understand why pictures published by newspapers are given so much attention. We can see pictures anyway online. The newspapers are in the imaginary world where they can decide which pictures the public can see. They should wake up to the new reality.
00:16 September 25, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
The footage revealed a heinous crime that was basically no different than attempted murder in its callousness and in terms fo the possible mortal consequences for the victim,

And this was not footage of 'a suspect' - it is footage of a person who is clearly caught red handed and is clearly guilty of everything that he is deservedly hated for.

The availability of the footage almost certainly led to his rapid capture, and if he had not been captured he would almost certainly have continued to rob and/or endanger people for years.

Why is there no crime stopping watch dog to tell the press watch dog to shut up when he is being an idiot?
02:35 September 25, 2012 by Eric1
Why don't we see the words "left wing extremist" more in the press. Left wingers seem to be much more violent than those on the right. I believe the press is more sympathetic to leftist than those in the right.
05:10 September 25, 2012 by rramirez
Would The Local please post a translation of this guy's text if people are to comment on his words in their fullness? Thanks.
07:55 September 25, 2012 by RobinHood
Mr Sigvardsson is misguided. It is the duty of every member and every organ of society (including the press) to assist in the pursuit and capture of suspected dangerous criminals; all suspected dangerous criminals, whatever their race might be. It is for everybody's benefit that they are quickly captured.

It should not be necessary for the public to turn to alternative sources of media, the fact that they did so in this case (almost the entire population of Sweden looked at the photo of the suspect) shows how the public felt about Mr Sigvardsson's wierd theory. They thought it was nonsense!

The fact ,Mr Sigvardsson did not want them to see a picture of the suspect, shows he has lost the public's confidence and really should consider stepping down to spend more time with his family.
08:41 September 25, 2012 by robban70226
just incredible!! Another stupid head in the sand Swedish attitude, better to be traditional than to catch the criminals? In my opinion every possible public exposure that can assist in the solution of a crime should be applauded and encouraged otherwise as everybody knows by know the polis are too incompetent to solve ant crime bigger that diving your bicycle without lights.

The best he can do to hrlp the society is to shut up and help society
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