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.
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.