On Tuesday, an Iraqi court issued prison sentences of up to three years to 18 police officers for not intervening when protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad and set it on fire. This was announced by Iraqi security officials.
Supporters of powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr set fire to the Swedish embassy in Baghdad on the night of July 19-20, after an Iraqi refugee residing in Stockholm destroyed the Holy Quran during a protest.
Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström said at the time: “The Iraqi authorities have an unequivocal obligation to protect diplomatic missions and diplomatic personnel under the Vienna Convention.” He added, “It is clear that the Iraqi authorities have failed miserably in assuming this responsibility.”
The Internal Security Forces Court in Baghdad recognized this obligation in its ruling issued on Tuesday. The ruling said the 18 officers were found guilty of “failing to perform their duties by allowing demonstrators to attack the embassy.” Eight police officers were sentenced to three years in prison, seven others were sentenced to two years and three months in prison, and three others were sentenced to one and a half years in prison. According to the ruling, the officers involved in the case have been permanently removed from the force.
The destruction and burning of Qurans occurred repeatedly in Sweden and Denmark last summer. This led to tensions between Scandinavian countries and Islamic countries in the Middle East. Iraq punished Stockholm for allowing anti-Islam protests involving the desecration of the Holy Quran, by expelling the Swedish ambassador.
The Swedish authorities had allowed the demonstrations under the pretext of freedom of expression. The Swedish government stressed that this permission is not equivalent to agreeing to destroy the Holy Qur’an.
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.
“Infuriatingly humble social media buff. Twitter advocate. Writer. Internet nerd.”