As we reported yesterday, after the prosecutor appealed the case to a higher court, Lars Hedegaard’s earlier acquittal on “hate speech” charges was reversed, and he was fined 5,000 kroner ($1,000).
We’d all like to think that Denmark is still a bastion of free speech, but Mr. Hedegaard’s case proves that there is really no Western country left that permits complete freedom of speech. When it comes to speaking out about Islam, all of our supposed democracies inhibit free speech and suppress the truth about the Religion of Peace.
The psychologist Nicolai Sennels is leading a group of determined Danes in an initiative to collect enough money to pay Lars Hedegaard’s fine, and also to cover the legal costs of appealing his conviction to the Danish Supreme Court or the European Court of Human Rights.
Below is the press release that was just issued by the group:
We are Lars
The President of International Free Press Society and of the Danish Free Press Society, historian and journalist Lars Hedegaard, has been fined 5,000 kr. (€660 / $1,000) under the Danish section 266b — the so-called “racism clause” — for uttering the following phrase: “Girls in Muslim families are raped by their uncles, their cousins or their dads.”
A group of free speech activists has decided to contribute and collect money to support Hedegaard’s appeal. The initiative is entitled “We are Lars”, and is represented by the psychologist and author Nicolai Sennels.
The group’s statement:
“What matters is not whether Hedegaard is right in his statements about Muslims, but that he is being punished for them. The Danish legislation and the court’s attack on Lars Hedegaard’s speech are an attack on everyone’s free speech! We are all Lars Hedegaard in this case. To show our contempt for the court’s decision and section 266b, and to highlight the willingness of ordinary citizens’ to protect freedom of speech, we will collect the 5,000 kroner for Lars Hedegaard. Politicians and the courts should know that we Danes are united in our effort to protect freedom of speech.”
Lars Hedegaard with Geert Wilders
Lars Hedegaard expresses his gratitude:
Thank you for supporting me and our common struggle for freedom of speech. I can assure you that any amount that comes in will go entirely to defend freedom of speech. There will be other battles, and therefore we must be prepared.
The initiative has its own homepage, We are Lars (in Danish and English).
Photos © Snaphanen.