Foto: Peder Gustavsson, Palmira Koukkari Mbenga/Sveriges Radio

Demonstration and criticism against drone use

Thousands of people demonstrated in central Stockholm on Wednesday evening, trying to get a message through to President Obama. A lot of the criticism against Obama centers on the American use of drone attacks and on US surveillance.

One of the demonstrators in central Stockholm, Lena Steinholz Ekekrantz, told Swedish Radio News: "USA is killing innocent people in its drone-war, and it is Obama who decides who and how many should die."

Among the demonstrators were also supporters as well as opponents of Syria's leader al-Assad. Some 30- police officers were there to monitor the situation, the news agency TT reports.

In the media, there was a range of critical voices heard after the press conference that the President held together with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

The general secretary of the Swedish branch of Amnesty International, Lise Bergh, told the news agency TT that Obama seems to underestimate the problems of surveillance. "there has to be more transparency," she said. She also said she though Reinfeldt should have taken the opportunity to criticise the American use of drone attacks.

The Social Democrat foreign policy spokesperson, Urban Ahlin, thought Obama is oversimplifying when he claims that it is the Us's moral duty to act militarily after the use of chemical weapons in Syria. "No-one should use chemical weapons with impunity, but there is not just the one answer to send cruise missiles. There are other methods," he told TT.

And the Green Party spokesperson Åsa Romson called for clearer visions on what to do about climate change. "if there will not come out anything more on the climate (during Obama's visit) I will be a bit disappointed," she told TT

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