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Stockholm council can opt out of Telia services because of its association with dictators

Saturday, 21 April 2012
The effects of Telia Sonera’s association with countries that violate human right could start costing it business and money at home. The city of Stockholm wants to be the one to shoot the first shot and withdraw from using the services of TeliaSonera when the next procurement of telephone subscriptions comes around.

Property and cultural Mayor, Madeleine Sjöstedt (People’s party) is very critical to the company’s links with and support to dictatorships.

The debate on the quasi – publicly owned company, TeliaSonera’s supplies of telephone systems to dictatorships, like those in Belarus and Uzbekistan, could now make the company loses the next contract. The company’s cooperation with dictatorships was revealed by Swedish television investigative program “Uppdrag granskning” recently.

On her blog Madeleine Sjöstedt writes that on “Wednesday Swedish television, pointed out that TeliaSonera was co-operating  with several dictatorships in Eastern Europe and that it has enabled countries like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus to have access to information about journalists, human rights activists and opponents' perceived as a threat against the regimes.”

She continues to stress that many questions were left unanswered in the program and that she is disappointed that TeliaSonera could not provide the answers required. For her the official picture manifestly does not agree with how really TeliaSonera's goes about with it international expansion.

“Stockholm city, with over 40 000 employees, has an agreement with TeliaSonera for mobile telephony. At the next procurement of communications services in the city, I would like that there be a democracy criterion as a parameter in the contract,” she said.

She made it clear that when the Stockholm City is preparing a new contract which includes the 40 000 telephone subscriptions, TeliaSonera would face problems with competing for the service.
According to Sjöstedt is not acceptable that a company such as TeliaSonera does not actively work on democracy issues and the company does not take a social responsibility for its operations.

Interestingly, Madeleine Sjöstedt is gaining support from the Green Party, Centre Party and Christian Democrats when it comes to review the agreement with TeliaSonera.
By Team

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