Greta Thunberg detained by Swedish police outside Eurovision arena during singing competition

Climate activist forcefully removed from pro-Palestinian protest

Leila Nezirevic  | 12.05.2024 - Update : 12.05.2024
Greta Thunberg detained by Swedish police outside Eurovision arena during singing competition


Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained Saturday by Swedish police after she was removed from a pro-Palestine protest held outside the Eurovision arena during the grand finale of the song contest, according to media reports.

Thunberg had joined the Stop Israel march in Malmo where thousands continue to protest Israel’s participation in the competition.

The climate activist was escorted by police from the protest, along with several others.

Thunberg was released but is back demonstrating near the arena, according to national broadcaster SVT.

“I think it is absurd that the police behave like this when we protest against the violence in Gaza,” she was quoted by SVT.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched Saturday in Malmo in a protest of Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Protesters waving Palestinian flags set off smoke flares in the Palestinian flag colors and chanted: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “Israel is a terror state,” as they demanded a cease-fire in Gaza.

Ahead of the second semi-final held Thursday, thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, including Thunberg, took to the streets of h Malmo to call for Israel to be excluded from the contest.

Thunberg’s arrest came after activists earlier this week accused Israel of trying to "artwash" Eurovision, by using artistic performance to distract from its actions in Gaza.

“We will not accept that a country currently committing genocide is allowed a platform to artwash themselves,” Thunberg wrote on X. "The world cannot remain silent in a genocide. Everyone who can, must use their voice and speak up against Israel’s crimes and occupation,” she added.

In March, the European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the competition, confirmed the participation of Israel’s act Eden Golan, despite worldwide demands for her to be removed from Eurovision amid the Israeli onslaught against Gaza.

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