Swedish peace activist arrested at weapons factory
Martin Smedjeback, a nonviolence trainer, active in the antimilitarist network Ofog, was arrested on the evening of July 14th in Malmö, in the south of Sweden. He climbed the fence of the weapons factory Aimpoint, which manufacturers redpoint laser sights used by the US Army and many other military forces around the world. At the interrogation at the police station that same night, he was informed that he would probably be charged with illegal trespass or severe illegal trespass: crimes that have a maximum sentence of six months and two years in prison respectively.
Aimpoint has a history of charging peace activists who trespass on their property with substantial criminal damages. Three peace activists (one of them Smedjeback) who peacefully climbed their fences in 2008 were charged with around 60 000 Euros by Aimpoint and the Swedish courts sentenced the peace activists to around 20 000 Euros. Whether or not the weapon’s company will demand any criminal damage at this time is still not clear.
'The court has already sentenced me to 7800 Euros in criminal damage which I don’t intend to pay them. It is they, the weapons manufacturer, who should pay for damage. For the damage and lives taken their weapons have caused in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq', says Martin Smedjeback.