25 February 2006
Documents confiscated and criminal charges raised against Danish association ‘Oproer’ (Rebellion)



Statement issued 25 February 2006:

"Latest: Friday 24 February 2006. Police authorities remove the international appeal (find below) of the association ‘Rebellion’ from the web sites of a Danish parliamentary party, a left daily newspaper and a socialist youth group.

Background

The Danish association ‘Rebellion’ (700 members) has on two counts been charged with breach of 114 a (2) of the Danish criminal code by allegedly supporting "groups having the intent of committing terrorist acts".

‘Rebellion’ is charged with transferring approximately 14000 Euro to the resistance movements FARC (Colombia) and PFLP (Palestine) in October 2004. The second charge concerns a statement on Danish television on 1 August 2005 by a spokesperson for ‘Rebellion’, Patrick Mac Manus, announcing that the association was in the process of collecting further funds in support of organisations on the EU 'terrorist list', and that it had issued an international appeal to democratic and solidarity organisations in the European Union urging them to similarly challenge national anti-terrorist legislation and the EU 'terrorist list'. Both charges have been raised personally aginst the spokesperson, Patrick Mac Manus, and not against the association as such.

The transfer of funds to FARC (Colombia) has especially angered the Colombian government. Both the ambassador to the Nordic countries and the vice-president Santos Calderon have had negotiations with the Danish Ministry of Justice and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, seeking to further the prosecution of ‘Rebellion’. The Colombian Minister of the Interior has demanded the extradition of members of the association.

The text of the international appeal by ‘Rebellion’ follows below. The appeal does not specify which resistance or liberation movements should be supported, only that such movements should "seek to further secular, democratic, and humanist goals".

The maximum sentence which can be imposed in connection with the charges is ten years imprisonment. The indictment has as yet not been drafted by the prosecution.

Confiscation

‘Rebellion’s’ international appeal, sent in both English and Spanish to almost 300 European democracy and solidarity movements, was removed from the association’s homepage by order of the Copenhagen Magistrate’s Court on 12 August 2005. This injunction was upheld 14 October 2005 by the High Court (Landsret). This is now being appealed by ‘Rebellion’ to the Supreme Court (Hoejesteret) as such confiscation involves both paragraph 77 of the Danish Constitution “prohibiting the re-introduction of censorship at any time”, and the European Declaration of Human Rights, Article 10, on freedom of expression. It is as yet uncertain whether the Supreme Court will open the case. This will probably be clarified within the coming weeks.

Immediately following the confiscation of the appeal, ‘Rebellion’ encouraged other Danish organisations to publish it on their homepages, and to contact their own international networks. The appeal is now to be found on approximately 35 national and international websites. The Danish police authorities have approached a number of the Danish organisations, including the parliamentary party Red-Green Alliance, requesting them to remove the appeal from their websites, or face court action. All organisations have refused to do so.

Friday 24 February. The police authorities have now removed the international appeal from the web sites of the above parliamentary party; from the web site of the left daily newspaper ‘Arbejderen’, and a socialist youth group.

Patrick Mac Manus, spokesperson, Rebellion (Denmark) Telephone 0045 22454178

International appeal:

The ‘war on terror’ threatens us all – defend freedom of expression, human rights and international solidarity!

Appeal from ‘Rebellion’ (Denmark) to European movements

The Danish association ‘Rebellion’ appeals to all European movements for democracy and international solidarity to join it in challenging national anti-terrorist legislations, the ‘terrorist list’ of the European Union, and the so-called ‘international war on terror’.

Through present anti-terrorist legislation, European states have attempted to curb the freedom of expression and the political rights of their citizens, including their right to extend moral and material support to resistance and liberation movements.

In the past year ‘Rebellion’ has publicly, and in direct conflict with Danish anti-terrorism legislation, transferred substantial funds to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). An important criterion for our choice of organizations is that they seek to further secular, democratic, and humanist goals.

The Danish Ministry of Justice and police authorities have as yet not raised criminal charges against ‘Rebellion’. In order to further such a step, both the Colombian ambassador to the Nordic countries and vice-president Santos have had talks with officials from the Ministry of Justice and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen.

We appeal to other European organizations to join us in a continuing challenge to European anti-terrorist legislation and the ‘terrorist list’ of the European Union.

We envisage the following elements in the campaign:

- Collection of funds within each country with list of those willing to stand forward as signatories. It would be inadvisable to open accounts, as these may be subject to seizure.

- A goal of at least 100 signatories and at least 1000 Euro within each participating country should be set. Involving prominent citizens in the initiative would be of great advantage.

- Publication of the initiative within each country when these goals are met, or at whatever time seems appropriate within the national context.

- Conference of all participating organizations to be held in Copenhagen in 2006, where a collective transfer of funds to resistance and liberation movements is announced.

- Publication of a conference manifesto on the so-called ‘war on terror’, reiterating solidarity with the international struggle against illegitimate state power and foreign occupation.

We hope that this appeal will be welcomed by your organization, and that the initiative will be taken up and developed in as daring a manner as possible within each national context.

The association ‘Rebellion’ can be contacted at following postal address:

Foreningen Opror,
C/O Blaagaardens Medborgerhus,
Blaagaards Plads 3,
2200 Copenhagen N,
Denmark,

Or at opror@linuxmail.org

Our website is at www.opror.net

PS The name ‘Oprør’ is related to Eng. Uproar, Ger. Aufruhr."

Statewatch News online | Join Statewatch news e-mail list | Download a free sample issue of Statewatch bulletin

Statewatch does not have a corporate view, nor does it seek to create one, the views expressed are those of the author. Statewatch is not responsible for the content of external websites and inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement.