SD pary leader Jimmie Åkesson in Jokkmokk. Photo: Lars-Ola Marakatt
leaves Jokkmokk

Threat of attack stops Jimmie Åkesson

The leader of the Sweden Democrats, Jimmie Åkesson, chose to cancel a book signing event at the annual Jokkmokk market Saturday, due to security concerns. The Sweden Democrat leader's comments about stopping the current policy in which only Sami are alllowed to keep reindeer, has stirred up strong feelings among Sami in the area.

In Aftonbladet on Thursday, two leaders of the indigenous Sami community wrote an opinion piece in the tabloid Aftonbladet expressing rage that Jimmie Åkesson wanted to open up the policy on keeping reindeer. They accused the Sweden Democrat leader of trying to move Sweden backwards in time to when it "race biology" was in its "golden age".

On Saturday Jimmie Åkesson had planned to hold a book signing at the annual Jokkmokk market above the Arctic Circle. However, according to SVT television, the book signing was cancelled after it came to the party's attention that some kind of attack was planned. 

"It's all about security threats, which is why we cancelled," says Christina Turing, election organiser for the Sweden Democrats in Northern Sweden, to SVT.

Asked about the threat, she said. "We cannot say at present."

Jimmie Åkesson, who had spent time walking around the market and meeting locals as well as journalists, later left Jokkmokk to travel south.

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