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Swedish culture minister loses anti-extremism role

Published tisdag 28 mars kl 15.12
Alice Bah Kuhnke appearing in the Swedish parliament's constitutional committee
Alice Bah Kuhnke was grilled by the Swedish parliament's constitutional committee on Tuesday. Credit: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedish culture minister Alice Bah Kuhnke will no longer have responsibility for dealing with violent extremism following a widely criticised TV interview.

Bah Kuhnke revealed that she would no longer have responsibility for returning IS fighters in an interview with Sweden's SVT broadcaster ahead of a grilling in front of the Swedish parliament's committee on the constitution.

"For me it has been obvious the whole time and there is a clear logic in having the criminal work tightly aligned to the preventative work, so none of the culture department's authorities are now operating," she told SVT.

Bah Kuhnke briefed Tuesday's constitutional committee meeting on the government's plans to fight violent extremism.

She was called to the committee after she appeared ill-prepared and ill-informed about the government's plans to rehabilitate returning IS fighters during an interview on SVT. 

She was unable to say how many people had been successfully de-radicalised by the Swedish government's programmes.

After the interview,  terror researcher Magnus Ranstorp at Sweden's National Defence College challenged her claim that as many as 30 of Sweden's 150 returned IS fighters had undergone individual rehabilitation plans.

The government is expected to soon name the agency which will take over responsibility for reintegrating returning IS fighters.

An investigation in December argued that the Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) should take over responsibility from Anna Carlstedt, the government's current national coordinator on combatting violent extremism.

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