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    British Think Tank Reportedly Offered to Spy on Right-Wing Swedish Politicians

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    Not only has the Institute for Strategic Dialogue smeared a senior Sweden Democrat as a "far-right extremist", it also offered the Swedish authorities its help in gathering data on him and his associates abroad through "investigative work".

    The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a British think tank which had previously called for financial sanctions against Sweden's alternative media, also offered the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) the ability to spy on Sweden's right-wing politicians, the news outlet Samhällsnytt reported.

    Samhällsnytt has gained access to an e-mail from the organisation's researcher Chloe Colliver, who claimed to have "uncovered links" between the Swedish right-wingers, influencers she labelled "far right" and Hungary, naming anti-immigrant Sweden Democrat Kent Ekeroth as "the most obvious example".

    "To uncover more about these links, we would have had to engage in more offline, investigative journalism work. <…> I believe there would be lots more to uncover in terms of offline links, support and financial backing connecting Hungarian and Swedish far right movements. It was not something we were able to cover ourselves in any detail, but many journalists have started to see a real infrastructure of support built in Hungary to support these kind of international movements, both in elections and outside of elections. Let me know if I can provide any more information on that," Chloe Colliver wrote, as quoted by Samhällsnytt.

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    This e-mail, the news outlet claims, is part of a longer correspondence between Colliver and a Swedish MSB official. A few days later, MSB published a report by ISD which proposed sanctions against alternative media outlets which offer substantiated criticism of immigration, such as Samhällsnytt, Fria Tider and Nyheter Idag.

    Kent Ekeroth represented the Sweden Democrats in the Swedish parliament between 2010 and 2018, and profiled himself as a staunch opponent of Islam and immigration. During his time as an MP, Ekeroth supported the deportation of criminal immigrants, an idea that has since been adopted by the more radical Alternative for Sweden, which openly markets itself as a "repatriation party". Ekeroth has since moved to the Hungarian capital Budapest.

    "It is extremely serious when authorities receive offers to spy on Swedish politicians abroad. Colliver mentions 'investigative journalism' in her email, but she is not a journalist and her organisation is not part of the press. Therefore, it is crystal clear what this is about, political espionage against the opposition under the auspices of MSB. The fact that she repeatedly refers to Swedish politicians as 'extreme right' in the e-mail shows that this is an accepted way of communicating with MSB" Kent Ekeroth told Samhällsnytt.

    READ MORE: 70% of Swedes Lose Confidence in Politicians Amid Weakest Gov't in Decades

    The Institute for Strategic Dialogue is a London-based organisation which bills itself as a "think and do tank" poised to tackle the "rising challenges of violent extremism, inter-communal conflict and polarisation" and "empower grassroots networks against hate and extremism".

    MSB is a Swedish state authority that belongs to the Justice Ministry with responsibility for emergency preparedness and civil defence.

    The Sweden Democrats are the country's largest right-wing party, which despite its substantial electoral successes hasn't been able to elevate any of its MPs to a cabinet-level post due to other parties collaborating to edge it out by forming a "cordon sanitaire".

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    Tags:
    right-wing politics, spying, Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), Sweden Democrats party, Kent Ekeroth, Scandinavia, Sweden
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