Swedish blogs boost libel stats

The number of libel cases in Sweden has almost doubled over the last 10 years. The increase is most apparent in Västernorrland in northern Sweden, which has seen three times as many defamation cases over the same period, according to statistics from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.

The growth of blogs over the last few years is thought to be a major contributory factor.

“It is probably due to the fact that the internet is accessible to more people. I think that is probably the cause of the increase,” public prosecutor Sune Andersson told Sveriges Radio.

Libel is on the increase in all parts of the country. In 1997, there were 4,551 reported cases in Sweden.

Preliminary figures for 2006 show a marked increase, with 8,869 reported instances of libel.


Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.