Ex-member arrested in Riksdag chamber

Ex-member arrested in Riksdag chamber
Green Party politician Ewa Larsson, a former member of parliament who currently sits on the board of the Stockholm County police department, was arrested in the Riksdag on Tuesday.

The incident took place in connection with a parliamentary vote on increasing capacity at Sweden’s nuclear power plants, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

Larsson and a group from The Green Women (Gröna Qvinnor), a feminist group focused on equality and environmental issues, had been watching the proceedings from the viewers’ gallery when they decided to stand up.

According to Larsson, she and her colleagues stood up to “get a better view” but as they began to leave the chamber shortly thereafter, they were confronted by Riksdag security guards who told them to sit back down.

Later the police arrived and arrested Larsson and four others on suspicions of harassment with an alternative allegation of disorderly conduct.

They were questioned on the scene and later released.

“Everyone was arrested. But it’s almost like I want to apologize to tax payers. I’m ashamed. We had absolutely no intention to commit a criminal act,” Larsson told DN.

According to their report on the incident, Riksdag security guards had interpreted the actions of Larsson and other women in The Green Women as an unauthorized expression of opinion because Larsson was wearing a t-shirt with the text “Kärnkraft nej tack” (‘No nuclear power, please’).

“It was important for us to see the vote,” said Larsson.

“We wanted to see how many voted for and against. But to have the police come – that wasn’t how we imagined our day would end. It was an unpleasant experience; we couldn’t have imagined what happened in our wildest fantasies.”

Visitors to the Riksdag are not allowed to offer visible or vocal support to a particular point of view represented in a debate.

“It’s not permitted to put up banners or applaud, for example. This is something that is stipulated in the Riksdag’s regulations,” a spokesperson told The Local.

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