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Swedish report Swedish report
by Euro Reporter
2010-03-12 08:59:25
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Sweden to recognize Armenian genocide

Though the motion to recognize the genocide of Armenians and other ethnic groups - Chaldeans, Syrians, Assyrians and Pontian Greeks - had the backing of members of five of the seven Swedish parliamentary parties, the vote's outcome was uncertain to the last as the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs had recommended its rejection. But with four centre-right politicians ignoring the recommendation and choosing to vote with the opposition, the resolution was eventually passed by a single vote.  Turkey immediately elected to recall its ambassador to Sweden, Zergün Korutürk, who said she was "very, very disappointed" by the vote.

"I'm disappointed and somewhat surprised because I expected the parliament to adopt the normal position that it is not the job of parliamentarians to decide whether or not genocide has taken place.
"That is a question for historians, and for researchers to examine before reaching a conclusion," she told news agency TT. Zergün Korutürk added that Sweden and Turkey had enjoyed excellent relations over the last decade but that this was now certain to change. "Everything is going to regress. This is going to have a drastic impact on our bilateral relations," she said.  Speaking prior to the vote, Left Party foreign policy spokesperson Hans Linde expressed his view that the time had come for Sweden to take a stand on the issue. "Firstly, to hinder any repeat and to learn from history. Secondly, to encourage the development of democracy in Turkey - which includes dealing with their own history. Thirdly, to redress the wrongs committed against the victims and their descendants," Linde said.

The foreign affairs committee, in its comments on the motion, had argued for an open debate on the issue. It also stated that the persecution of the Armenians and other ethnic groups in 1915 would have constituted genocide according to the definition adopted by the United Nations in its 1948 genocide convention if it "had it been in force at the time." But the committee stated that it does not consider it parliament's role to rule on human rights issues and that this should instead be addressed by "open research, open access to facts, and free debate." Sweden's Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt agreed with the committee's position in comments on his blog on Thursday. Under the heading "Don't politicize history," Bildt wrote: "A politicizing of history in this way risks undermining ongoing reconciliation processes, plays into the hands of those opposing normality in Armenia and reform in Turkey... and creating new tension in Swedish society." The committee concluded in its comments that the Turkish government has in recent years made some movement on the issue, with conferences arranged on the subject as well as broader media debate.


Swedish security police eye terror T-shirts

Denmark's Supreme Court found in March 2009 that the company’s T-shirts violated Danish terror legislation as sales would support the PFLP in the Palestinian territories and the FARC in Colombia, both of which are included on the EU's list of terrorist organisations.  All six convicted members of Fighters + Lovers received conditional prison sentences of between two and six months. In response, the firm decided to move its T-shirt operations to Sweden despite the fact that Sweden is also legally obliged to follow the EU list.

Since August 2009 the firm has been selling its T-shirts from Sweden and states on its homepage that proceeds from the collection are being forwarded to the FARC and the PFLP. According to news agency TT, Swedish security police (Säpo) are aware of the firm's presence in Sweden and are monitoring the situation but were unwilling to confirm what measures had been taken.

The firm operates a Swedish, Danish and Spanish web-shop to sell its T-shirts bearing logos with the groups' names, as well as a Facebook site used to explain its mission in support of groups that it describes as "freedom fighters and political activists."


Auschwitz theft suspect awaits extradition

Högström, 34, was arrested on February 11 over the theft of the sign which disappeared on December 18th from over the gate of the notorious World War II camp set up in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany.
"The Stockholm court has taken the decision that he should be extradited to Poland and that he should remain in custody," Agneta Hilding Qvarnström told AFP.

Högström has three weeks to appeal, and if unsuccessful "the authorities have to come and get him and they have 10 days to do so," she added. His lawyer, Björn Sandin, told Sweden's TT news agency that he would advise Högström to appeal. Högström has told Swedish media he was supposed to act as an intermediary to pick up the sign and sell it to a buyer, but in the end he wound up informing Polish police about the people behind the plot.

Högström in 1994 founded the National Socialist Front, a Swedish neo-Nazi movement he headed for five years before quitting. Polish police recovered the five-metre (16-foot) metal sign, whose German inscription means "Work Will Set You Free", on December 20, two days after the theft. They arrested and charged five Polish men. The sign, which had been cut into three parts, was returned by investigators to the Auschwitz museum on January 21, less than a week before commemorations marking the 65th anniversary of the camp's liberation by Soviet Russian troops. The sign has long symbolised the horror of the camp where some 1.1 million people - one million of them Jews - were victims of Nazi German genocide from 1940 to 1945.

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Emanuel Paparella2010-03-12 15:33:44
All we need now is another article by Dr. Siddiqui condemning Western hypocrisy on the Armenian genocide, home-grown terrorists and neo-Nazis. I predict that it will soon appear.

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