Well-known climate activist Greta Thunberg is to appear in court after being charged with a criminal offence, reports on Wednesday have claimed. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)


Greta Thunberg to appear in court over oil terminal protest


World-renowned Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is to appear in court after being charged with a criminal offence, according to media reports on July 5.

“You have freedom of demonstration, but you must not demonstrate in such a way that it causes disturbances for others,” prosecutor Charlotte Ottosen is quoted as saying.

The charge is related to a June climate protest at a port in Malmö, Sweden, during which Thunberg and other climate activists are said to have blocked numerous vehicles from entering an oil terminal.

According to a report by Swedish daily newspaper Sydsvenskan, climate protestors were initially allowed by police to block both cars and lorries around the plant, allowing the activists to express their views.

However, with around 30 trucks prevented from moving in and out of the depot, law enforcement officers then decided that the disruption was disproportionate and requested the demonstrators to leave.

“Everyone was informed individually and it was also filmed by a police officer when this was done,” one official said, with protesters reportedly being asked to move on both in Swedish and English.

Four of the protestors are said to have refused the police requests and were forcibly removed from the scene by officers.

Thunberg is now reportedly being charged as one of the activists who refused to comply with law enforcement officials, which constitutes a criminal offence in Sweden.

Speaking ahead of the activist’s court hearing, scheduled for later this month, Ottosen claimed it can be clearly established that protestors at the Malmö oil terminal did not obey police instructions.

The prosecutor added that while she did not usually participate in hearings of this nature, charges of the type levelled at Thunberg usually resulted in fines if a conviction is secured, though the crime can also carry a sentence of up to six months in prison.

Brussels Signal approached Thunberg via her media team for comment but as of writing none was forthcoming.