Sveriges begränsningar av religionsfriheten under covid-19-pandemin
Sammanfattning: The essay aims to examine whether the restrictions posed during the covid-19-pandemic was legitimate in accordance with the freedom of religion posed in the European Convention on the Human Rights and the freedom of religion as stated in the Instrument of Government. The freedom of religion stated in the Instrument of Government is absolute and cannot be restricted. What is seen as use of other freedoms such as the freedom of assembly and association are allowed to be restricted using the limits set on them. In oth-er words, the limits on restrictions of the freedom of assembly is what sets the limits of the freedom of religious manifestation. The European Conven-tion of the Human Rights have a wider definition of the freedom of religion which includes the freedom to manifest one's religion such as through wor-ship. During the pandemic the freedom of assembly and freedom to manifest one’s religion through worship was thrice limited. Firstly, a limit on assem-blies were set to 500 participants, then it was limited to 50 participants and late in 2020 freedom of assembly was limited to 8 participants. The Gov-ernment was enabled to adopt more drastic reactions through a change in the Public Order Act (Swedish code of statues 1993:1617) and the Com-municable Diseases Act (Swedish code of statues 2004:168) in 2020. In January 2021 the parliament adopted a new law (Swedish code of statues 2021:4) that authorized the government to regulate companies. A rule of how many square meters each visitor needed was adopted for stores and museums. The conclusion is that the Government have failed to clearly present its reasons when limiting the freedom of assembly and have not proven that there was no less restrictive measure that could have been used. Therefore, the limits of the freedom of assembly were not necessary and are neither allowed under the European Convention of the Human Rights nor under the Instrument of Government.
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