Denmark: Lars Hedegaard Didn't Insult Islam Publicly
Karen Lugo (National Review Online) has the most thorough English-language account that I’ve seen: While deciding to acquit Lars Hedegaard [on April 20], president of the Danish Free Press Society, of intending to speak hatefully for public dissemination, the [Danish Supreme Court] emphatically affirmed a statute according to which anyone who "publicly or with the intent of public dissemination issues a pronouncement or other communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation is liable to a fine or incarceration for up to two years.”
The prosecution of Hedegaard resulted from remarks that he made during an interview and contends were electronically distributed without his permission. Although Hedegaard explained that he did not intend to accuse the majority of Muslim men of abusive behavior, Denmark’s Office of Public Prosecutions deemed his reflections on the incidence of family rape and the commonness of misogyny in Muslim-dominated areas to be criminally insulting.
The trial-court judge did not find that the prosecution met its burden to demonstrate that Hedegaard meant his comments for public distribution. But the Office of Public Prosecutions appealed to the Copenhagen Eastern Superior Court, in which Hedegaard was convicted. This reversal was based upon the elastic legal standard that Hedegaard "ought to have known” of the potential for dissemination of his remarks…. (...)