We want to stop those who seek to come to Sweden and commit crime
In May this year, the Government decided to reintroduce border controls. We were clear about the reasons for this: it was primarily due to the elevated threat to Sweden, linked to events such as previous demonstrations at which Qur’ans were burned.
The government decision also clearly stated that the location, nature and scope of these controls would be adapted to what is necessary on grounds of public order and security.
The Ministry of Justice has been briefed about how the Swedish Police Authority is organising controls at Sweden's internal borders, in light of recent events connected to last Wednesday’s demonstration in central Stockholm.
The Swedish Police Authority has confirmed that it is now making necessary adjustments to the controls, and increasing its interactions with other relevant authorities to address the threat. The Swedish Security Service has also stepped up its work against violent extremist environments.
In Sweden, freedom of expression enjoys strong protection. But naturally this does not mean that the Government supports every opinion that is expressed. Public gatherings that are entirely legal can also be polarising and offensive. Demonstrations like that held on Wednesday are just that. And they also have serious consequences for Sweden’s internal safety and security.
We are now in a situation where there is a risk of new threats to Sweden being set in motion. Experience tells us that both individuals who initiate these kinds of demonstrations and individuals who are prepared to use extreme violence in response to them often come to Sweden from other countries.
It can be noted, for example, that the man now being investigated for the offence of agitation against a national or ethnic group following Wednesday’s events is an Iraqi national who only has a temporary residence permit in Sweden.
The police have the right to prevent people entering Sweden if they threaten important public interests – within the framework of the rule of law. It is crucial that we have effective border controls, and that we send an unequivocal signal to the world:
Sweden takes threats to its freedom, safety and security extremely seriously. For this reason, our authorities are now stepping up their efforts to prevent and address any new threats.