A a wedish court on Tuesday overturned a police decision to ban two Quran-burning protests after a similar protest led to the arrest of five suspected Islamists for plotting a terrorist act.
In January, protesters outside the Turkey embassy in Stockholm burnt Islam’s holy book.
This sparked a public outrage from the Muslim world, leading to weeks of protests, calls for a boycott of Swedish goods, and holding up Sweden’s NATO membership bid.
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Sweden’s Supreme Administrative Court overturned a police decision to ban two subsequent Quran-burning protests in February, saying security risk concerns were not enough to limit the right to demonstrate.
The “police authority did not have sufficient support for its decisions,” Judge Eva-Lotta Hedin said in a statement.
The Swedish police explained that such demonstrations make Sweden a high-priority target for terrorist attacks.
They refused to authorise the Quran burnings outside the Turkish and Iraqi embassies in Stockholm in February.
Swedish politicians have criticized the Quran burnings but defended the right to freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, the Swedish Security Services arrested five suspects early Tuesday following coordinated raids in the central towns of Eskilstuna, Linkoping, and Strangnas.
“The current case is one of several that the Swedish Security Service has been working on… in connection with the high-profile Quran burning,” said Susanna Trehorning, deputy head of the security service’s counter-terrorism unit.
She added that the five suspects arrested were linked to International “Islamic extremism.”
The security service also downplayed the possibility of an attack being imminent.
“The security service often needs to act early in order to avert a threat. We can’t wait until a crime has been committed before we act,” it said in a statement.