Security beefed up for Sahlin due to threats

AFP/The Local
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Security beefed up for Sahlin due to threats

Security for Social Democratic leader Mona Sahlin has been tightened due to serious threats against her just over a month before elections, Swedish media reported on Monday.


According to the tabloid Expressen, security for the prime ministerial candidate has gradually increased after a "barrage of threatening emails and letters to Mona Sahlin's office in parliament."

"The threat level has changed," an unnamed police source told the paper.

When contacted by AFP, a spokesman for the Swedish security police, which handles security for high-profile politicians, refused to comment on the


On Sunday, when Sahlin held a large campaign rally in Stockholm ahead of the upcoming September 19th election, four bodyguards wearing bulletproof vests were at her side the entire time, according to Expressen.

The 53-year-old career politician has received numerous threats in the past, the paper added. After a scandal dubbed the Toblerone Affair over her use of a party credit card to buy chocolate and other items in 1995, Sahlin was for a time forced to work in a bulletproof room.

In 2004, during a visit to the central Swedish town of Norrköping, a man walked up to her and asked if she was Mona Sahlin before punching her.

Sweden has been traumatised by two political assassinations in recent

decades. Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot on a Stockholm street in 1986, while foreign minister Anna Lindh was stabbed to death in an upscale department store in the heart of the capital in 2003.

Like Sahlin, both Palme and Lindh were Social Democrats. Neither of them had bodyguards with them at the time they were killed.


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