The Presumption of Innocence is Disappearing in Sweden

One of the main principles governing Swedish law has been the presumption of innocence as a basic state. Before someone is judged and proven guilty they are assumed innocent. Unfortunately it seems that this state of innocence is slowly disappearing in Sweden.

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe says (art. 6.2): “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law”

Earlier not even media were allowed to call someone guilty for a crime before it had been proven in a court. Today the society is implementing more control to assert the guiltiness of people almost before they have committed the crimes. Instead of waiting for the crimes to take place they take a pro-active stance with larger sweeps and a presumption of guilt.

The main change in Sweden has been the implementation of mass-surveillance of their population in the form of the Data retention directive. This changed the basic state of a citizen from innocent and free to “suspected”. Even with nothing to hide people change their behavior when they know they are being watched.

moving away from presumption of innocence

data retention directive in sweden explained

The latest decline of the presumption of innocence has been made in the new controls (REVA) for “illigal citizens” residing in Sweden. More practically police have gone into public transport and demanded identifications from people with a non-Swedish appearance. This changes the state from “innocent” to “guilty-until-proven-otherwise” (with help of documents) of any “non-swedish” looking person in the public transport.

It’s sad to see Sweden lose its’ principles and becoming a police state where everyone is considered suspicious.

Posted in transparency

Josef Ohlsson Collentine

A transparent and kind American/Swede who likes cultural patterns and Social Media. A creative early-adopter who sports, discusses and explores. More about me
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