Trial and Sentencing for Swedish Weapons Disarmers

It is not every day the Svea Court of Appeal, the country’s oldest still functioning court, deals with a case on the Swedish weapons export. On the 21st of April it did. Anna Andersson and Martin Smedjeback disarmed fourteen bazookas at Saab Bofors Dynamics weapons factory in Eskilstuna. The two activists were sentenced to four months imprisonment each in Eskilstuna district court. At the same trial Smedjeback was also sentenced to pay damages of 155 000 SEK (about 15 000 Euros) for having climbed a fence at the arms factory Aimpoint in Malmö. This was appealed and brought up the 21st of April. The new sentence will be delivered the 5th of May. It cannot exceed the previous sentence of four months but the costs for damages can go up to 250 000 SEK for Smedjeback.

The trial had brought many peace activists and other interested. The 30 or so could not all fit in the court room but listened to the proceedings from adjacent rooms. The judge gave plenty of freedom for the defendants to plead their case. Andersson argued that since the disarmament action the Swedish weapons trade has only gone worse. Today Sweden is the second biggest weapons exporter in the world per capita. Smedjeback argued that according to the country’s antiterrorist law Swedish weapon factories could be tried and convicted for shipping weapons to the US during the illegal attack and occupation of Iraq. Stopping such a crime through a disarmament action should then be within the limits of the law.

Press release the 5th of May 2010

They hammered on weapons – were sentenced to prison

Today the sentence for the two peace activists, Anna Andersson and Martin Smedjeback, was announced. The Svea court of appeal gave them four months in prison for the disarmament action in the city of Eskilstuna in October 2008, where they disarmed fourteen bazookas at Saab Bofors Dynamics weapons factory in Eskilstuna.

– This peace action is among the best things I have ever done in my life. A prison sentence does not bring me down considering the fact that our action might have saved lives, says Martin Smedjeback, nonviolence trainer from Mjölby, Sweden.

It was the 21st of April their case were brought up in the Svea court of appeal in Stockholm. It was announced today at 11 a.m. Swedish time.

– The Swedish weapons export has increased by more than 400 percent since 2001, in spite of the fact that a majority of the Swedish people, according to a recent published poll, wants to stop it. It is my responsibility as a fellow human being to act against this deadly trade which causes so much destruction in the world, says Anna Andersson, web designer from Göteborg.

Smedjeback was also sentenced to pay 7 800 Euros in criminal damage for climbing over a fence in November 2008 to the weapons factory Aimpoint in Malmö. The charges for criminal damages in connection to the disarmament action in the city of Eskilstuna will be processed in a coming civil law trial.

Anna Andersson, <>, cell: +46-73-777 28 18
Martin Smedjeback, <>, +46-70-257 90 97