The Swedish government wants to lower the hurdles for terrorism investigations. As justification, the Minister of Justice also refers to the recently increased danger after a public burning of the Koran. It is unclear what the amendment means for Turkey's demands for more vigorous persecution of suspected PKK supporters.
Sweden is tightening its anti-terror law. This should make it easier for the authorities to take action against people who support organizations classified as terrorist, announced Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer. "We are talking about a very far-reaching criminalization." Until now, suspects could only be prosecuted if their actions could be linked to a specific terrorist incident. Strömmer said the new law, which could come into force in June, would cover all types of participation.
The law change comes amid Sweden's negotiations with Turkey over the Nordic country's bid to join NATO. All NATO members must agree to the admission of a new country. However, Turkey refuses to join Sweden and Finland. Sweden is not doing enough in the fight against terrorism, the argument goes. Turkey demands that the two Nordic states no longer tolerate people who Ankara considers terrorists in the country, but rather extradite them. Turkey refers to members of the banned Kurdish Workers' Party PKK.
The need for stricter laws was made clear by an attack in 2017, said the Swedish justice minister. At that time, five people died. Recently, the danger has increased that Sweden could become a target. This was shown, among other things, by the burning of the Koran by a right-wing extremist politician in Stockholm in January. The rhetoric has become clearer and sharper. Turkey then declared that it was in favor of Finland joining NATO, but that was not the case with Sweden.