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Arts council to Säpo: Nazi march will present threat

Published torsdag 14 september 2017 kl 07.17
Staffen Forssell: We are deeply worried that our guests will meet these people
(3:03 min)
The Gothenburg Book Fair receives around 100000 visitors every year.
The Gothenburg Book Fair receives around 100000 visitors every year. Credit: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

In an open letter to the head of Sweden's security service, Anders Thornberg, the national arts council has expressed its "deep concern" that the far-right Nordic Resistance Movement will be allowed to demonstrate during the Gothenburg Book Fair.

The director general of the Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet), Staffan Forssell, tells Radio Sweden that the police decision to allow the march to go ahead, threatens the government's mission that everyone should have the opportunity to particpate in cultural life. 

"Ultimately, it is a matter of freedom of expression for our invited participants. We also feel that the decision makes the council's mission difficult because we cannot guarantee the personal safety of our staff and our international guests," he says.

The Arts Council is a public authority under the Swedish Ministry of Culture and is responsible for matters relating to theatre, music, literature, art and museums.

The demonstration by the NRM takes place on September 30, which is also the Jewish high holiday of Yom Kippur, and representatives of the Jewish Community have protested, saying they fear for their members' safety as the demonstration will pass just 250 metres from the local synagogue.

Gothenburg police commissioner Erik Nord told Radio Sweden on Wednesday that the freedom of assembly applies to all, including the far-right Nordic Resistance Movement.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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