Stockholm/Berlin, August 29, 2022 – Christian Bläul (40) and Kevin Hecht (30), supporters of the Last Generation, are currently still in Swedish custody. They had taken part in peaceful sit-ins by “Återställ Våtmarker” (“Restore Wetlands”). The group is calling on the Swedish government to ban peat mining and restore wetlands that are so important for the climate.
Last Friday, the Swedish authorities decided that charges would be brought against Christian. The father of two children is threatened with up to 4 years in prison because he is not prepared to simply accept the destruction of our livelihoods. Bläul should remain in custody at least until the court date on September 2nd. He was denied temporary bail despite his assurances that he would attend all court proceedings.
He doesn’t complain about the prison conditions: “Given the circumstances, I'm doing well in prison. I will see this through to the end because I follow my moral compass. I am here in the right place, full of strength and full of love for life."
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The Berlin computer scientist Kevin Hecht has also been behind bars in Stockholm for 7 days. It will be decided in the next few days whether charges will also be brought against him. In solidarity with Bläul, he joined another road blockade of Återställ Våtmarker - in the full knowledge that he too would face imprisonment and prosecution. He didn’t let that deter him: “I'm afraid of the climate catastrophe, not of prison“, he writes in a letter from his cell.
And further: "Greenhouse gases know no borders. We are facing the worst crisis humanity has ever seen - and we may still have 2-3 years left to stop a deadly climate collapse. That's why we must now unite across all borders and put an end to the fossil fuel madness together."
Carla Hinrichs, a spokesperson for Last Generation, adds: “With their courage and determination, Christian Bläul and Kevin Hecht are role models for us all. We are doing what is necessary to prevent climate hell and thus the destruction of our civilization - and we will not allow ourselves to be immobilized by prison sentences."
The way the Swedish authorities dealt with the two German citizens is striking. Several dozen participants, including people from Finland and Norway, were released shortly after the sit-in. Only Bläul and Hecht have been in custody for over a week now. Sweden is breaking new ground - it is the first time that climate activists have been put in prison in the Scandinavian country.
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