A voice for newcomers in Sweden

Opinion: Proposed law change threatens to erode Sweden's press freedom

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in 'The Post'. Photo: 20th Century Fox

Published: 13.Mar.2018 06:59 hrs

Sweden's press freedom rests on very thin ice, and a proposed espionage law may make it even thinner, writes Ole von Uexkull, executive director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation.

I watched 'The Post' the other day. The movie tells the story of the publication of the Pentagon Papers. This classified study documenting the lies of several US administrations about the Vietnam war had been leaked to the press by Right Livelihood Award Laureate Daniel Ellsberg in 1971.

The Nixon administration got an injunction against the New York Times to stop publication of the papers. But in its landmark 'New York Times Co. v. United States' decision, the US Supreme Court upheld the freedom of the press, guaranteed by the First Amendment. Since then, no US administration has tried to get an injunction against a publisher. The closest was Donald Trump threatening last month to take legal steps against the publication of 'Fire and Fury', the book revealing the chaos prevailing in the Trump White House and election campaign.

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