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Sweden marks 250 years of freedom of the press

Published fredag 2 december 2016 kl 10.08
Expert: Both good and bad developments for press freedom
(1:16 min)
Commuters read newspapers on a train.
Commuters read newspapers on a train. Credit: Gunnar Lundmark / SvD / TT.

On Friday, Sweden celebrates its 250th anniversary of the freedom of the press and public information.

Sweden became the first nation in the world to enshrine press freedom when parliament abolished the censorship of books and newspapers and required authorities to provide public access to all official documents.

The law, written by a parliamentary committee and called "His Majesty's Gracious Ordinance Relating to Freedom of Writing and of the Press", was adopted on December 2, 1766.

Although the law allowed open expression within the country's media, several topics could land publishers in hot water. Under the law, people could be fined for blasphemy against God, questioning the authority of the nobility and king as well as writing libelous stories about others.

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