The hanging of an effigy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showing him dangling by his legs from a rope in Stockholm does not merit a criminal probe, authorities ruled Monday.
“A decision has been decided not to begin a preliminary investigation,” a spokesperson for Sweden’s Prosecution Authority told AFP, providing no further details.
Speaking to tabloid Aftonbladet, public prosecutor Lucas Eriksson said he had received a complaint of “defamation” regarding the effigy.
“But I did not think that could amount to defamation,” Eriksson told the publication.
The event further worsened relations between Sweden and Turkey, which is presently holding off on ratifying Sweden’s NATO entry.
Turkey summoned Sweden’s ambassador in Ankara last week after the Kurdish Rojava Committee of Sweden compared Erdogan to Italy’s late dictator Benito Mussolini.
“History demonstrates how dictators finish up,” the group stated on Twitter, accompanied with a video showing pictures of Mussolini’s 1945 execution and then a dummy dressed up to appear like Erdogan swinging from a rope outside Stockholm’s City Hall.
The action was criticised by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom, who both said it was an attempt to “sabotage” Sweden’s NATO membership ambition.
Sweden and its Nordic neighbour Finland dropped decades of military non-alignment last year when they asked to join the Western security alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO countries who have not accepted the bids by votes in parliament.
Ankara says that Sweden, in particular, has failed to execute a series of agreements both countries made during a NATO summit in June.
Erdogan subsequently removed his objections to their applications in return for commitments to crack down on Kurdish groups that Ankara sees as “terrorists”.
Sweden has since adopted a constitutional amendment that will make it feasible to pass stricter anti-terror regulations.
On Saturday, Erdogan’s foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin told reporters that the government was “not in a position” to confirm Sweden’s NATO membership.