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Sweden has dedicated counterterrorism provisions in its domestic criminal law with a new Act adopted in 2022. A constitutional amendment entered into force on 1 January 2023 to allow limitations on freedom of association for groups engaged in terrorism.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Terrorism is defined in Section 2 of the 2022 Terrorism Act as follows:

(a) public destruction, serious crime, and the spreading of poison or infection; 

(b) a willful offence concerning nuclear activities and corresponding serious crimes, and

(c) an intentional crime under the Chapter 9 of the Criminal Code. 

For terrorist offences, anyone who commits or attempts to commit a willful offence of terrorism is guilty of an offence. This is where: 

- the act can seriously harm a country or an intergovernmental organization, and

- the act is committed with the intention of:

(a) instilling serious fear in a population or part of a population,

(b) unduly coercing a public body or intergovernmental organisation to take or refrain from taking an action, or

(c) seriously destabilising or destroying fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or intergovernmental organisation.S. 4, 2022 Terrorist Act.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Sweden is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Sweden is also a State Party to three of the four regional treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2003 Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism Signatory
2005 Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party
2015 Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party

In adhering to the 2005 Convention, Sweden reserved the right "to, in relation to other States than the Member States of the European Union and Norway and Iceland, as a ground to refuse a request for extradition, invoke that the offence referred to in the request concerns a political offence, an offence connected with a political offence or an offence inspired by political motives".

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The maximum sentence for terrorist offences is life imprisonment. 

Under Section 4 of the 2022 Act, punishment is imprisonment for a fixed term, a minimum of four and a maximum of eighteen years, or for life.

If the offence is less serious, the person is sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of two and a maximum of six years.

A constitutional amendment that entered into force on 1 January 2023 allows limitations on freedom of association for groups engaged in terrorism. 

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

Sweden has a detailed counterterrorism strategy in place since 2015.

Sweden has dedicated counterterrorism expertise in its national police.


Sweden Counterterrorism Strategy (English version)

Sweden Terrorist Offences Act (2022) (English translation)