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Swedish embassy in Baghdad invaded and set on fire by protesters after Koran burning

According to a Reuters witness, the Swedish embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, was invaded by hundreds of demonstrators this Thursday morning (20). The building was also set on fire, but there were no confirmed injuries.

The act was organized by the Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr after Sweden authorized the burning of the Koran, which is the holy book of Islam, in a demonstration last Friday (14). The protest caused repercussions, due to the fact that Iraq is a predominantly Muslim country.

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According to videos on the One Baghdag Telegram channel, supporters linked to Muqtada Sadr gathered in front of the embassy building around 1 am local time. Protesters also chanted support for the Koran. There are also images of smoke coming out of the place, but the scenes have not been verified.

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previous manifestations

The country has been the target of similar protests since late June. On the 28th, a man burned and tore up a copy of the Koran outside a mosque in Stockholm. One of the demonstrators’ goals is for Sweden to dismantle its embassy in Iraq.


Salwan Momika burning a copy of the Koran (Photo: News Agency/Stefan Jerrevang/REUTERS)

In previous acts, protesters set fire to an LGBTQIA+ flag and many protesters held the Koran and portraits of Shia populist Moqtada al-Sadr.

Regarding Wednesday’s protests (19), the Swedish police said that even if there are foreign policy consequences, the security risks and effects of burning the Koran could not naturally be dismissed.

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freedom of expression

According to a request sent to the Swedish police, the demonstration in Stockholm was actually an action in favor of freedom of expression. The police also stated that the authorization of the acts is in accordance with Swedish law, as it is a public act.

According to Carina Skagerlind, press officer for the Stockholm police, authorities do not issue permits for meetings and expressions of opinion. In a tentative resolution, the UN Human Rights Council condemned the burning of copies of the Koran as acts of religious hatred.

Featured Photo: Mosque in Stockholm. Playback/Dans-eg

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Swedish embassy in Baghdad invaded and set on fire by protesters after Koran burning

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