DUCKPOND (Rixstep) — Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt seems to never be out of the news. Bildt's repeatedly denied talking with representatives of the US about Julian Assange. Bildt's been described in the US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks as 'a medium size dog who believes he's a big dog'.
This article series takes a look at the man and what he's been up to.
Persson & Schibbye
Johan Persson is a Swedish photographer. Together with Anna Roxwall he's published several well received articles about Neo-Nazis in the US.
Martin Karl Schibbye is a Swedish journalist. He holds degrees in political science and economic history and has studied journalism at the University of Stockholm. As a foreign reporter he's traveled to Thailand, Algeria, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Vietnam. He won a Jan Myrdal Robespierre Prize for journalism in 2011.
Persson and Schibbye began a treacherous journey in 2011 to uncover evidence of war crimes perpetrated (or condoned) by Lundin Oil/Lundin Petroleum and Carl Bildt. They crossed the border into Ethiopia from Somalia with 15 bodyguards recruited from rebel forces. They were caught and their bodyguards were murdered.
Persson and Schibbye were found guilty in a court in Ethiopia on 21 December 2011 of entering the country illegally and of having supported terrorism through their recruitment of bodyguards. On 27 December 2011 they were sentenced to 11 years prison and on 10 January 2012 they announced they'll be seeking a pardon rather than appealing the verdict.
Here's where the 'quiet diplomacy' of Carl Bildt comes in. It's generally considered unlikely Carl Bildt will work overtime trying to rescue two journalists who were trying to find evidence to convict him of war crimes.
Following is a clip used in court where Persson and Schibbye explain their plan and report on what happened afterwards.
I don't have blood in my veins - I have oil in them. - Adolf Lundin
We're not political. We can't interfere with domestic affairs. - Ian Lundin
You are enhancing the conflict by engaging in oil investments. - Gerhart Baum, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Sudan to the UN
I'm always watching over my shoulder. To see if someone's following me. Someone might be out to do me harm for what I wrote in my book. I don't know if that's the case, I haven't received any tangible threats. But you can't be too careful. - Kerstin Lundell