Church of Sweden

Archbishop: The arms exports investigation must get underway.

Press release   •   Mar 08, 2012 10:25 GMT

 "It is now even more apparent how essential it is to tighten the control of arms exports as soon as possible. Sweden's double standards seem to be even more ingrained than I'd thought," Archbishop Anders Wejryd says, regarding Sweden's collaboration with Saudi Arabia on the building of an arms factory.

"We'll have to see how things develop, but reports so far suggest that double standards in the area of Swedish arms exports policy are worse than I'd thought," Anders Wejryd says.

The Archbishop has on several occasions expressed sharp criticism of Sweden's arms trade with dictatorships which frequently violate human rights, the most recent instance being two weeks ago when the Swedish arms export figures for 2011 were released. In May 2011, the Riksdag passed a resolution for tighter control of arms exports to non-democratic states, and gave government the clear task of passing fresh legislation on munitions. "It seemed that something might now get done. But no. Nine months have passed. During this time not a single directive has been put forward," the Archbishop wrote in his blog dated 22 February.

"What has now emerged regarding Sweden's collaboration with Saudi Arabia shows even more clearly how essential it is that the investigation gets underway and directives are put in place to ensure that this type of loophole can be closed," Anders Wejryd says.