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10.6 Demonstrations

The right to demonstrate is laid down in the Swedish Constitution as one of the fundamental rights and freedoms in Sweden.

A demonstration in a public place may not be held without the permission of the local police authority. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is prevented, under constitutional law, from determining how an application should be decided. Such permission may only be refused if necessary on grounds of the preservation of public order and safety or traffic conditions.

The police have the right to disperse a public assembly if it is causing serious disorder or appreciable danger to those present and if other steps have not proved sufficient to restore order or to provide protection for those present. However, the fact that permission has not been sought, does not give the police the right to disperse a demonstration (if permission has been refused, the police have the right to disperse the demonstration). The police are not entitled to disperse a demonstration due to an unlawful act being committed in the course of the demonstration, but they may intervene against an individual demonstrator who, in this capacity, has committed an offence.

The police do not have any power to prohibit demonstrations outside foreign missions or government or other public buildings unless this is necessary on grounds of traffic requirements or for the preservation of public order. However, whenever a license to hold a demonstration near to an embassy is granted, Stockholm County Police's current practice is always to allocate policemen for protective surveillance and to inform the embassy of the demonstration in question.

In the event of an unauthorized demonstration taking place outside the mission premises, the embassy should immediately contact the Diplomatic Protection Section of the Stockholm County Police.


Protocol Department
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Visiting address Gustav Adolfs torg 1
Address 103 39 STOCKHOLM
email to Protocol Department