"This is the most important decision I have made as a minister," Swedish cabinet minister Birgitta Ohlsson said at a press conference on Thursday. "Mona Sahlin has stood on the barricades for human rights."
Sahlin's new tasks will include improving cooperation between agencies, cities, and organizations on a all levels of society to prevent and address violent extremism. She will also be responisble for establishing a reference group for exchange of information about violent extremism, as well as educational efforts on the issue.
"Throughout her political life, Mona Sahlin has driven a fight for tolerance and democratic values," Ohlsson said. "I am convinced that, with her engagement and political experience, she will strengthen Sweden against anti-democratic forces."
The Swedish government recently decided to appoint a coordinator to "work with prevention of extremism and protect democracy". Sahlin is the first to fill the post, and will work as the coordinator for the next two years.
"I feel incredibly honoured to receive this assignment," Sahlin said. "For me the fight against extremism is more than a question, it is the very grounds of all democratic operation."
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Sahlin made headlines last year for publicly scrutinizing the Social Democrats party's choice of board members, including a man with ties to anti-Semitic propagandists. A few months later she was threatened by Sweden's neo-Nazi Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas parti).