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Reinfeldt Upholds Freedom of the Press

Published måndag 24 augusti 2009 kl 18.42
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfelt

Sweden's Prime Minister came out on Monday and rejected calls from Israel to condemn tabloid Aftonbladet for its claims last week that Israeli soldiers stole organs from the bodies of dead Palestinians.

Fredrik Reinfeldt said that it was not the government's place to comment on the content of every newspaper, and reiterated the constitutional importance of Sweden's free press.

"It's important for me to say that you cannot turn to the Swedish government and ask it to violate the Swedish constitution," Reinfeldt said to the TT news agency.

Reinfeldt also rejected the suggestion that the row could undermine his country's work in the Middle East peace process as the current holders of the EU presidency.

"Political ambitions always risk being used as an excuse to break off contacts or efforts, but I have no reason to believe that (is what is happening) at this point in time and I hope it won't go down that route," he said.

Meanwhile in Israel, reports have come in of around 20 demonstrators stood outside the Swedish embassy in tel Aviv under the banner "anti-Semitism under the cover of freedom of expression."

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