Denmark: 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 demo

 

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