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From Hammarskjöld to Assange:

A Swedish Legacy Dishonoured


Sweden has a long history of service to the United Nations and adherence to its principles, as proclaimed on the government’s website: ”Over the years, more than 70,000 Swedes have served in the U.N. and many Swedes have served as mediators. Sweden has worded in many areas of the U.N., and has also begun the work with many important issues, including abolition of the death penalty, children’s rights, abolition of apartheid, the Convention against Torture.…”

The government has kept the rhetoric, but in recent years has begun to abandon the principles. Nowhere is that more evident than in its collaboration in the persecution of Julian Assange, which recently became the subject of unusually sharp criticism from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The Swedish government dismissed rapporteur Nils Melzer’s detailed criticism with a brief letter consisting largely of untruths, evasions and glaring omissions. In a bitter irony, the government’s spurious arguments were devised by a grand-niece of Dag Hammarskjöld, the revered and martyred secretary-general of the U.N.

That recent history of the Swedish government’s attitude and behaviour toward the United Nations is related in a PDF document* at this address:

Related items

U.N. Special Rapporteur’s letter to Swedish government

Swedish government’s reply to U.N. Special Rapporteur



To Amb. Elinor Hammarskjöld, Director-General for Legal Affairs:

You state that ”… the Swedish Government may not interfere in an ongoing case handled by a Swedish authority.… The Government is constitutionally prevented from commenting on or influencing the independent decisions of the Swedish Prosecution Authority.”

This does not appear to be true. According to the Swedish Constitution:

“The government is empowered to annul or mitigate the penalty for a crime, or any other judicial consequence of a crime, and to annul or mitigate any similar encroachment on an individual’s person or property which has been imposed by an administrative authority.… If special circumstances exist, the government may decide that additional measures to investigate or prosecute a criminal act shall not be taken.”

Thus it would appear that the government is constitutionally empowered to ”interfere in an ongoing case handled by a Swedish authority”. How is any other conclusion possible?…

[There are] ample grounds to believe that the Swedish government has interfered with the Assange case from the very beginning, and that it has co-ordinated its interference with the governments of the U.K. and, especially, the United States. To believe otherwise would require the suspension of all reason and the dismissal of much available evidence.…


In Swedish


12 August 2019