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Sweden lashes out at ‘disinformation’ about child abductions


STOCKHOLM – The Swedish government on Friday again tried to discredit claims that Swedish social services agencies are kidnapping Muslim children, saying Sweden saw another “systematized” and “extensive” disinformation campaign.

“This campaign has now gained momentum again,” Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said.

“This is wrong. This is not true. Sweden does not kidnap children. The social services do not kidnap children,” Kristersson said at a press conference. “Neither Muslim nor other children.”

He said social workers and other workers are being “exposed on social media and threatened”.

He said the government will place guards in social services offices and increase funding for Sweden’s Psychological Defense Agency, which was set up to counter misinformation, to help it tackle the “systematized” campaign against Sweden. to grab. He did not say how much money would be given to the agency.

The statement came amid tensions with predominantly Muslim Turkey over Sweden and Finland’s applications to join NATO.

Turkey is angry that Sweden has allowed anti-Turkish protests, and especially that it has not stopped an anti-Muslim activist from repeatedly burning the Koran, the holy book of Muslims. It also believes that Sweden is not doing enough to crack down on Kurdish activists it considers terrorists. Unless its demands are met, it says it will not approve Sweden’s NATO application, which must be accepted by all 30 members of the military alliance.

Kristersson said the child abduction disinformation campaign began in 2021. The Psychological Defense Agency said last year that the allegations could be traced to an Arabic-language site whose creator expressed support for the Islamic State group.

In February 2022, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said that “all children in Sweden are equally protected and cared for under Swedish law” and that social workers need a court order to take children away from their parents without consent.

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