Climate activist Greta Thunberg charged with disobedience, authorities say

Greta Thunberg detained by German police at coal mining protest

Prosecutors have charged climate activist Greta Thunberg with disobedience to law enforcement in connection with a protest in Malmö, Sweden, last month.

Local newspaper Sydsvenskan reported Wednesday that Thunberg and other activists were detained after they stopped traffic in the oil terminal of the port in Malmö on June 19.

A short statement by Swedish prosecutors on Wednesday said a “young woman” was charged with disobedience because she “refused to comply with police orders to leave the scene” during the protest. The statement didn’t identify the woman, but Swedish Prosecution Authority spokeswoman Annika Collin confirmed that it was Thunberg.

Sydsvenskan said the 20-year-old Swedish activist will be called to trial at the end of July. Prosecutor Charlotte Ottosen told the paper that the crime of disobedience is typically punishable with fines.

Thunberg’s media team didn’t immediately answer a request for comment.

Protests have been an essential part of Thunberg’s climate activism since she rose to international prominence in 2018 when she was 15 years old, and she has been detained by police several times in the past.

In January, while protesting a coal mine in Germany, video footage showed three police officers pick her up and carry her by her arms and legs away from a sit-in. In February, Thunberg and other activists blocked the entrance to Norway’s energy ministry in Oslo to protest a wind farm they say hinders the rights of the Sami Indigenous people to raise reindeer in Arctic Norway.

Since she gained attention for her activism, Thunberg has appeared before legislatures, celebrities and even the Pope to speak about climate issues. Scientists also named a beetle after the climate activist.  


  • Sweden
  • Greta Thunberg
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