Denmark. The so-called Muhammadan crisis had violent consequences during the year, both in Denmark and abroad.
In February, Danish police arrested several people suspected of planning murder of one of the cartoonists behind the Muhammad cartoons published in the Jutland Post in 2005. The details of the murder plans prompted a number of Danish newspapers to re-publish the controversial drawings of the prophet in solidarity with Jyllands-Posten. Muhammed.
The new publications led to protests from, among others, Iran’s Foreign Ministry, and in Afghanistan demonstrated thousands of people demanding that Denmark’s soldiers in NATO-led forces leave the country.
In Denmark, a week of violent riots followed in several cities, where schools, cars and garbage containers were set on fire. Young people who participated described the riots as protests against the cartoons of Muhammad and demanded respect for Islam. Many young accused police for acting brutally and racially against people with immigrant backgrounds. School leaders called for dialogue about what went wrong in integration policy, but Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen explained that the noise was not the fault of society and he urged the young people to get in the collar and get education.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of DK in general and in geography as Denmark in particular.
In June, a powerful car bomb exploded outside the Danish embassy in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. It was a suicide attack that killed six people and injured many. One of those killed was a Danish citizen of Pakistani origin. The terror network al-Qaeda took on the blame for the attack, which was said to be a revenge for the publication of the Muhammad cartoons. al-Qaeda’s leader Usama bin Ladin had previously called for attacks on Denmark because of the drawings.
The Danish security police warned that terrorist acts were also planned in Denmark on orders from al-Qaeda and that Danish youths underwent terror training in camps in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions. In October, two young men were sentenced by a Glostrup court to 12 and seven years in prison, respectively, for planning terror attacks.
The European Court of Justice ruled in July that Denmark’s demands for family immigration violated the EU’s free movement of labor. A number of Danish politicians then wanted Denmark to ignore EC law. The Danish People’s Party accused the court of pursuing politics instead of interpreting laws and threatened to withdraw its support to the government if it bowed to Brussels. However, after a fierce domestic political debate, the Danish People’s Party succumbed and supported the government’s proposal to allow immigration even for persons under the age of 24.
In September, an agreement was signed on a bridge construction between Denmark and Germany over the Fehmarn belt. The bridge is expected to be completed in 2018. Then it will take twelve minutes by car the distance traveled by the ferries between Rødby and Puttgarden today in just over 45 minutes.
The Conservative government party changed leaders during the fall, when Lene Espersen succeeded Bendt Bendtsen. Former Minister of Justice Espersen also replaced Bendtsen in the post of Minister of Finance in the government.
In October, the government lowered GDP growth forecasts, which were expected to fall below one percent during the year. The repercussions of the financial crisis on Denmark sparked renewed debate on Denmark’s need for a transition to the euro, and the prime minister declared that a new referendum on the issue would be held during the term of office.
According to a research report from Michigan University in the US during the year, the Danes are the happiest people in the world. The researchers had well researched the finding in 97 of the world’s countries.
In 2006, the Ministry of Justice initiated a series of political litigation. However, not everyone got the desired outcome. After 3 years of trial against 7 leading members of Tvind for fraud, all 7 were acquitted in August. In the media and by bourgeois politicians, the 7 were convicted in advance. The VKO government’s respect for the rule of law was therefore immediately expressed when a number of politicians from the Left and the Danish People’s Party, in direct extension of the judgment, demanded legislation tightened. The accused were guilty of political optics. Therefore, when they were acquitted, there had to be something wrong with the legislation. Left’s mayor, Birthe Rønn Hornbech disagreed with the panic reaction and noted for Information: “We are on the verge of smashing the rule of law, and we have been for some time.” She continued: “It is a shame that every time some – perhaps – have violated the rules, there are politicians coming running and wanting to change the legislation.”
The Ministry of Justice had better “luck” when – in August too – Fadi Abdel Latif, the President of the Danish branch of Hizb ut Tahrir, was sentenced to 3 months unconditional imprisonment for “threats” against Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The occasion was a flyer Hizb ut Tahrir handed out at a mosque in Valby in November 2004. Here, the association wrote, among other things: “Then go off to help your brothers in Fallujah, Iraq, and obliterate your regents if they stand in your way”. Although the text on the flyer was translated from Arabic and addressed to Muslims in Arab dictatorship states, and “rulers” thus referred to dictators in Arab countries, the Justice Department chose to interpret “rulers” as the prime minister, and the flyer should therefore be “death threats” to the prime minister. The court followed the directions of the Ministry and the Prosecutor’s Office. Abdel Latif immediately appealed the verdict, and the Minister of Justice stated that she was considering an actual ban on the association – on the basis of the Constitution’s restriction on the freedom of association for associations that “act by violence”. However, a number of legal experts with Gorm Toftegaard Nielsen from the University of Aarhus and Jørn Vestergaard from the University of Copenhagen believed that the Minister of Justice was out on thin ice. Despite a large number of violent convictions, the Justice Ministry never succeeded in banning the rocker groups during the rock war in the late 1990’s, and Hizb ut Tahrir had no violent convictions behind him – only convictions for threats. If the association is to be banned, it cannot be done on the basis of the Constitution, but only on a purely political basis. In February 2007, Latif was acquitted in the High Court of “threats to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen”,
The Ministry of Justice brought the Al Aqsa Association to trial as a first trial after the original terror law banning support for terrorist organizations. The association had supported humanitarian projects in Palestine, which the prosecution believed were linked to Hamas that was on the EU terror list. The prosecution’s evidence came exclusively from Israeli intelligence, Shin Beth, and was obtained through torture of Palestinians. A similar association in the United Kingdom supporting the same children’s organizations in Palestine, despite Israeli protests, several times had been acquitted by the British authorities for terrorist support. In spring 2007, Al Aqsa was acquitted by the district court. Lene Espersen’s Ministry of Justice appealed the decision and in February 2008 Al Aqsa was also acquitted in the High Court.
To cover the lack of legal basis in the «terror cases», at the beginning of September 2006, the Ministry of Justice conducted a dramatic police action against resident Palestinian refugees in Odense. Led by PET and a major police force, 9 young Palestinians were arrested and house searches were carried out – without court orders. The fact that the action was carried out on a thin basis was confirmed when the arrested were to be questioned for a constitutional hearing. 2 were already released, and the judge agreed to only detain 2 of the remaining 4 weeks. To emphasize the abolition of the division of power in Denmark, Justice Minister Lene Espersen had already stated before that the case “was the most serious ever in Denmark”. The ministry had already convicted those arrested.
In February 2007, a verdict was handed down in the High Court over 4 young Muslims accused of terrorism. The case had from the outset been referred to in the Danish government media as the “terror case from Glostrup”. At the same time it was the largest trial for the Danish terrorist legislation of 2002 and both the government media and politicians had therefore sentenced the four young people. In line with this, the Nominating College convicted the 4 guilty. However, the surprise came half an hour later when the College of Judges put 3 of the 4 on the loose because the evidence simply did not amount to sentencing. However, the release of all four did not dare the college – for the sake of political hinterland – and the last – a 17-year-old Danish Muslim – was therefore sentenced to 7 years in prison. The only terror that could be found in the case was the terror they were accused of for 16 months. During this period, they were held in custody – what Amnesty International refers to as “prison without judgment”, which is widespread in other authoritarian states. In the absence of evidence, the prosecutor built his case on so-called “character witnesses” who testified to the accused’s views on life and on the world. The case must be characterized as a political-religious trial.
The Supreme Court subsequently upheld the sentence of 7 years in prison. Spanish lawyers found that even in Spain, which has a stringent terrorist law following decades of cases against the Basque separatist movement ETA, the evidence from the Danish case would not have been sentenced. The prosecution allowed the acquittal of one of the three to go to the High Court, where the acquittal in February 2008 was once again acquitted.
In the spring, the “bookseller from Brønshøj”, Danish-Moroccan Said Mansour was sentenced to 3½ years in prison for showing and selling Arab splatter films. Mansour had already been in custody for 1½ years. Even the prosecutor subsequently stated that it was an exceptionally strict punishment. The punishment remained unchanged due to a peculiar alliance between the Islamic fundamentalist Mansour and fundamentalists in the Danish Ministry of Justice. Both were interested in strict punishment. Mansour, after a few years, could be released as a martyr (victim of justice murder), and the reactionary forces to fight against Islam. Mansour formally failed to appeal because he did not trust the Danish legal system. With good reason. Had the splatter films been North American, there would have been no case.
In September 2007, the trial began against the 4 young people from Odense who had been arrested 1 year earlier. At trial, it emerged that PET had used a civilian agent who in 2006 had assembled a circle of young Muslims from Odense, had radicalized them and ended up – at the expense of the Danish state – buying materials for making bombs. Despite the absence of explosives and concrete plans, 2 were sentenced to 11 years in prison and 1 sentenced to 4 years in prison. The case thereby marked itself as a further escalation of the Danish state’s persecution of Muslims. First by the caricature crisis of 2005-06 and then by terrorizing young Muslims. The so-called violence case was also characterized by a number of serious violations of legal certainty. First and foremost is the role of PET and the mentally unstable PET radicalizer. In democratic rule of law, these methods would be characterized as deeply illegal. Second, by the national court’s acceptance of PET’s secret evidence. Evidence that was on the way was rejected by the Supreme Court. A district court order ignored. Third, the use of secret “court hearings” in which only judges and prosecutors were present. And finally, Judge Folmer Teilman’s judicial statement of the allegations, where they were taught that the accused were guilty and that PET’s radicalizer was a “very credible witness”. The radicalizer had been characterized as a notorious liar by employees in the psychiatric system who had worked with him in Aarhus. With the verdict, Denmark received another 3 political/religious prisoners – victims of judicial murder. In the spring of 2008, the Supreme Court rejected all of the defense’s allegations of trial errors and sharpened all 3 judgments by a further 1 year.
Parallel to the Violence proceedings, the so-called «T-shirt» case was launched against 7 people, accused of selling T-shirts in favor of the liberation movements FARC and PFLP, which were characterized by their political opponents as terrorist movements. The 7 were acquitted in December 2007, when the court did not find that the organizations concerned were terrorist organizations. A week later, the prosecution appealed the verdict. A few days later, the government routinely interfered in the judicial process, as it did in the Weekendavisen let Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller declare his deep wonder at the acquittal. In a historic verdict, in September 2008, the Eastern District Court sentenced 6 of the 7 accused to prison sentences of 2-6 months imprisonment. The verdict was historic because it declared every organization’s killing of civilians for terrorism. The consequence of the verdict was that all resistance movements throughout history had to be characterized as terrorist movements – including the Danish resistance movement during World War II. 63 years after the end of the occupation, the Danish national court gave the German occupying power the right: the resistance movement is terrorists. Another characteristic of the judgment was that it marked the goodbye of the High Court to the rule of law. In five judgments since 2006, Community courts had called for organizations to be removed from the EU’s so-called terror list but the justification that in a rule of law one is innocent to the contrary is proven and organizations have the right to defend themselves against the prosecutors. The T-shirt verdict was a violation of this rule of law when the accused – the PFLP and the FARC – were not allowed to defend themselves against the charges of terrorism.
The Supreme Court upheld on March 25, 2009 the High Court ruling on 6 T-shirt activists. However, all convictions were made conditional and it was halved for one of the accused, as the High Court in his case had made trial errors. The convicted were further fined a “fine” of DKK 1½ million. DKK in the form of court costs. The court set the following premise: regardless of the nature of a state, any organization that kills civilians in it is a terrorist organization, whether collateral damage. The Danish resistance movement killed during World War II approx. 400 civilians (sticks), or approx. 40 times more than PFLP in the period 2002-07. With the judgment, the Danish state allowed a significant part of the solidarity work the trade union movement and the popular organizations provide to the Third World.
In April 2008, the Eastern District Court approved the blocking of the Tamil humanitarian organization, Tamil Rehabilitation Organizations (TRO) bank accounts in Denmark. The blockade was made with reference to terrorist clause 114, but the prosecution did not admithaving raised evidence that TRO is a terrorist organization. The “evidence” approved by the court was that the TRO is listed on the United States’ so-called terror list. The national court’s order marked a new step in the settlement of Denmark as a rule of law. The organization was convicted without evidence of its criminal activities and citing a foreign list that violates basic rules of legal certainty. Organizations and individuals on the United States’ so-called terror list have been convicted on trial, without trial, without appeal, and without compensation. Until 2008, the Danish judiciary had recognized that the EU terror list did not have legal validity in Denmark. Not because the list – in the judiciary’s view – was contrary to fundamental principles of the rule of law, but because the Danish judicial EU reservation. Such a reservation does not exist according to the United States.
In December 2007, the Danish newspaper Information reveal that PET had begun to clothe prisoners white coveralls and provide them with a dense cloth bag over his head. PET copied the United States torture methods in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the experiences of Guantanamo. The purpose of giving the prisoner a bag over his head was to degrade his perceptions of opportunity, make him confused and scared. These funds are expressly prohibited in the Torture Convention, which Denmark has also signed and ratified. PET’s explanation for his torture of prisoners is:
«It is quite normal for arrests of this nature that a number of security measures be taken for the purpose of inter alia: to protect the arrested person and secure any technical evidence in the case. ”
At the beginning of 2008, the first of PET’s victims from Voldsmose was awarded DKK 600,000 in compensation.
In September 2006, the government appointed Left political spokesman Jens Rohde as director of the government’s new TV2 radio channel. Rohde’s most important media political experience was as a sports commentator for Viborg local radio in the 1980’s. He was fired in November 2007. His radio was a failure with only a few percent listeners, and even he was more interested in spreading disinformation about political opponents.
Savings of DKK 150 million DKK in Aarhus and savings in children’s institutions and schools in many other municipalities in September triggered extensive blockades and strikes in, among other things. Aarhus, New Silkeborg Municipality and the new Odsherred Municipality. The cuts in the municipal budgets were a consequence of a 5-year civil tax halt that had led to constant deterioration in the quality of public welfare at the municipal level. This development was reinforced in 2006 by the costs of municipal mergers and equalization reform, which particularly affected social democratically led municipalities, with Ballerup at the head, which was deprived of DKK 150 million. DKK annually as a result of the government’s countervailing reform.
Blocks, demonstrations and strikes hit the VKO government on a sore point. Opinion surveys already showed that 70% of the population had greater confidence that the social democracy could secure the Danish welfare society. The VKO government’s ministers and the political spokesman of the Left, Troels Lund Poulsen, therefore, invented the Cold War rhetoric and blamed the trade union movement with BUPL at the forefront of leading the people behind the light. However, despite aggressive and arrogant rhetoric seconded by governmental media, blockades, demonstrations and strikes continued. Hundreds of thousands demonstrated around the country on the opening day of the Folketing, October 3, against the deterioration of welfare.
In August, the Danish People’s Party excluded 7 local chairmen who had welcomed the inclusion of Nazis in the party opposite Ekstrabladet. The exclusions were compared to the exclusions in 1999 by a group of members of the Danish Forum. They were friends of the party’s Søren Krarup, who therefore withdrew from the exclusions. The cleansing within the highly-governed party continued in September and October with new exclusions. At the same time, the party was having trouble on another front when a video recorded on its youth organization, DFU’s summer party, showed a contest about who could swear Islam the most. The video led to new calls for a boycott of Denmark in the Muslim world and attacks on the Danish embassy in Tehran.
The attacks abroad were also a consequence of the frustration over Denmark’s politics that could be traced in different parts of the world. While Norway and Sweden played an important role as mediators and peacemakers in international conflicts over the previous 30 years, the Danish VKO government defined Denmark’s new foreign policy role as a supplier of mercenaries and weapons to the US attack wars – primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In December 2006, the state lost a case against the Berlingske Tidende, which was accused of relaying information from the defunct FET agent and Whistleblower Frank Grevil, who demonstrated that in the first months of 2003, the government led the Folketing when it alleged that FET had information that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. Although the US, UK and Denmark’s official manipulation of Iraq information has been publicly available for years, it was the state’s prosecutor in political cases, Michael Jørgensen’s claim that Berlingske’s disclosures had “compromised the security of Denmark” and “the intelligence agency’s ability to gather information in the future”. The accused was the editor-in-chief of the newspaper and the two journalists behind the disclosures. The state’s attempt to restrict freedom of expression however, this time was not stamped by the Copenhagen City Council, which acquitted the accused. A year earlier, the political prosecutor had succeeded in putting Frank Grevil in jail on the same charges. While the judiciary in i.e. The United States and the United Kingdom consider the right of citizens to know that they have been manipulated by the state, higher than the consideration of the authorities themselves, this principle does not apply in Denmark, which already has the most restrictive law and practice of public administration.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Denmark in 2008 was 5,554,733, ranking number 111 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.490% yearly, and the population density was 130.9178 people per km2.