Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has managed to avoid jail time despite being found guilty of disobeying police during an environmental protest in June.
The famed 20-year-old activist had been taking part in a climate demonstration blocking a port in Sweden when she allegedly refused orders given by police to move off the road.
She eventually had to be forcibly removed from the thoroughfare by Swedish law enforcement officers.
During a hearing in a court in Malmö on July 24 regarding the incident, Thunberg admitted the circumstances of the crime but challenged the prosecutor’s arguments that she had broken the law on a number of legal grounds.
According to a report on the trial by Swedish media outlet Dagens Nyheter, the activist argued that it was unclear whether the protest constituted a public gathering in the legal sense and expressed doubt as to whether the demo was “disrupting public order”.
Thunberg also described herself as being in distress at the time of the incident as a result of the ongoing “climate crisis” and argued that such distress could be considered enough to find her not legally culpable.
“I believe that we are in an emergency situation,” Thunberg told the court. “There is a climate crisis that threatens life, health and property.”
That argument was rejected by Swedish prosecutor Emma Olsson, who, although agreeing a climate crisis does exist, argued it does not exclude people from the scope of the law.
The Malmö district court ultimately ruled in favour of the prosecutor, finding Thunberg guilty of disobeying directions given by police.
She was spared the maximum penalty of up to six months in prison and was instead handed a number of fines and penalties totalling 2,500 Swedish kroner, or roughly €215.
Brussels Signal has approached Thunberg’s media team for comment but at the time of writing no response had been received.