Friday, April 13, 2012

Triple Jeopardy for Lars Hedegaard

Lars HedegaardRegular readers are familiar with Lars Hedegaard, the Danish historian, journalist, book author, and chairman of the Danish Free Press Society. Mr. Hedegaard is a staunch opponent of Islamization, and is also one of the ever-growing number of Europeans who have been charged and convicted of “hate speech” for saying things that offend Muslims.

Mr. Hedegaard was first reported to the police on December 22nd 2009 by Yilmaz Evcil, chairman of the Integration Council of Århus, for saying in a YouTube interview: “Girls in Muslim families are raped by their uncles, their cousins, or their fathers.” Formal charges were raised on July 12th 2010. His “offense” was covered by article 266b of the Danish Penal Code:

Publicly making statements that threaten, ridicule or hold in contempt a group due to race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation.

At his first trial, on January 31st 2011, he was acquitted, on grounds that the statements were not intended to be made public.

However, after an appeal by the prosecution, a higher court overturned his acquittal on May 3, 2011, and fined Mr. Hedegaard 5,000 kroner.

He was in court again today for his own appeal. His conviction may be overturned, but it may also be upheld and his fine increased. The decision is expected next week.

As he said recently, he faces “triple jeopardy” in Denmark.

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Steen was at the court today. He has photos and a report (in Danish).

Here’s what the Legal Project has to say about Lars Hedegaard’s case:

Hedegaard’s Appeal to the Danish Supreme Court
by Ann Snyder

Once again, freedom of speech is under attack in Europe. Lars Hedegaard’s appeal to the Danish Supreme Court will be heard April 13th along with the prosecutor’s cross-appeal seeking a higher fine. Court proceedings are anticipated to wrap up the same day and a decision is expected within a week.

Americans should take an active interest in the state of free speech in Europe, because it is a forewarning of the direction our own country is heading if we don’t take steps to reverse course. In a previous interview with the Legal Project, Lars Hedegaard remarked:

We live in an increasingly internationalized, globalized order where people look to other countries for guidance and inspiration. Of course, where Europe goes the U.S. may well go. You see the same pattern in Canada and other places. I don’t think you should believe that the U.S. can remain an island of freedom in a world of suppression and dictatorship.

If you think that “hate speech” laws could never take hold in the United States, consider the current Administration’s complicity in the OIC’s efforts to limit speech through UN resolutions, including hosting the first in a series of meetings called the “Istanbul Process” behind closed doors last December…

Read the rest at Legal Project.


Qualis Rex said...

It would appear that all Mr Hedegaard would need to do is to show 3 examples of his statement via news reports or testimony to absolve him, rather than taking the tact of "it was not meant to be public". Why has he not taken this path, which should be easy enough?

Anestis canelidis said...

All those links in the last paragraph are a must read if one cares about our free speech. I run into too many people that believe we could never lose our First Amendment and right they are. But, the so-called progressive (commie) left and groups like the OIC want to simply redefine what is free speech and what is hate speech.

Anonymous said...

"Americans should take an active interest in the state of free speech in Europe, because it is a forewarning of the direction our own country is heading if we don’t take steps to reverse course."

Yes, thank you. And likewise, non-Americans with traditional values should feel free to openly America. Please feel free to attack the increasing crackdown on free speech in America, if you would be so kind. It's a sign that you care.

Qualis Rex,

It may not be that simple.

The Danish Penal Code, article 266b includes this:

"Publicly making statements that RIDICULE (a) faith."

(I removed other options and capitalized for clarification.)

In English, the words "ridicule" and "criticism" are largely synonymous. In most cases, one cannot separate the meaning of one from the other. The Danish seem to be banning criticism as they wish, as it politically suits them, for power.

Anyway, it's an unbelievably sloppy law with seemingly sloppy, yet concise, pro-agressive, takeover thinking behind it.

But even weak mind can see that the right to criticize and free speech are inseparable. Danish law is intentionally capricious, it sets a ball out, waiting to kicked by the leftists of the courts.

Of course my European friends, feel free to criticize anything and everything you wish regarding Western Civilization. You have free speech there. Actually, only there.

My best wishes go to Hedegaard.

You New

laine said...

Any jurisdiction that recognizes "hate speech" has already taken the first step in limiting free speech as the boundaries of what is covered by hate speech become ever more elastic under the cumulative ministrations of leftist activists on and off the law bench. In many cases, truth is not a defense against hate speech if the truth (like crime stats) results in a protected group being subject to ridicule or negative attitudes. Hate laws have given an inch on free speech and more restrictions will inexorably follow.

Anonymous said...

The horror of this trial is that to be convicted, all that is necessary is to show that the speech was offensive. TRUTH IS NOT A DEFENCE.

Qualis Rex said...

Well, let's be honest here: free speech in Europe has always been a myth. In France, Germany, Austria, Denmark (and more countries) it was always verboten/ a punishable offense to say anything questioning the Holocaust. So, it would appear that Mohammedans and immigration is the "new" Holocaust (and yes, that came out exactly how I intended).

Elisabeth said...

Don't I know all about what it's like to have the truth in your hands, only to be taken a away by the apostles of "new truth".

God help us all.

babs said...

QR - I agree with your post of 9:23. How can you possibly give a pass to speech when you have outlawed speech, in this case, regarding the holocost.
This has opened the door to outlawing any and all speech. I think it was a very ill advised action to outlaw holocost speech.
Everyone may think that the holocost is true but... to outlaw divisive statements just impunes a country's ability to discuss other issues.
I think that is where Europe finds itself today.

laller said...


Actually there are more points that must be proven.

1: That the statement(s) were meant to be public, as in intended to reach a wider audience(wider audience is not clearly defined though)

2: That the statement(s) were directed at a group of people as defined by the statute. The statute doesn't cover what you call individuals, like the n-word.

3: That the statement(s) "threaten, ridicule or hold in contempt" the above mentioned group.

Lars Hedegaard's problem is that he didn't say "some muslim" or "many muslim" but simply said "muslim" which will likely be judged a generalization of the muslim group.
Anonymous is however correct that truth is no defence.

Qualis Rex

Nothing verboten about questioning the Holocaust in Denmark. I believe there's even a revisionist "institute" here.