Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Two Cheers for Danish Justice"

Melanie Phillips withholds a final cheer as the Danes acquit Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Speech Society, of uttering "hate speech":
So a victory, certainly -- but still only two cheers for Denmark’s legal system. First, as has been the case throughout this saga, the acquittal – like the previous acquittal and conviction – turned merely on the narrow question of whether the remarks by Hedegaard which were in contention had been made in a private forum. The Supreme Court decided that he had had ‘no intention of disseminating his remarks to a wider audience’, and that therefore no offence had been committed.

The crux of the issue, whether someone is entitled to speak in public in Denmark about child abuse and violence towards women in Muslim culture, remains therefore very much an open question.

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