[News] Denmark: Govt arrests supporters of PFLP & FARC

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Sat Feb 25 11:59:27 EST 2006



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Authorities in Denmark arrest leaders of legal Danish political party
Danish authorities on February 20th arrested 4 members of the Danish 
Left Socialists Party (Venstresocialisterne, VS), among them several 
of the party's leaders, and presented arrest orders against 3 more 
members. All 7 seven are accused of violation of 114a in the Danish 
criminal code prohibiting support for foreign terrorist organizations.

This section has a maximum penalty range of 10 years prison.

VS was presented in parliament with 4-6 members during 1967-87, and 
has since been an integral part of the Danish left-green alliance 
(Enhedslisten), that is presently represented in the Danish 
parliament with 6 members.

Since its creation in 1967 VS has been working in support of national 
liberation movements in the 3. World, having supported the FLN during 
the Vietnam War, ANC and SWAPO in southern africa in their fight 
against the apartheid regime in South Africa, PFLP in Palestine in 
its struggle against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, FMLN in El
Salvador, URNG in Guatemala, FSLN in Nicaragua, and many other 
national liberation movements in Latin America that have fought 
against military dictatorships.

6 months ago the party formed a company, Fighters & Lovers, whose 
purpose was to sell T-shirts on the internet in support of the 
national liberation movements PFLP in Palestine and FARC in Colombia. 
Both organizations are on the EU list of terror organizations, but 
this list has no legal status in Denmark, and VS regards both 
organizations as national liberation movements, not as terror
organizations. Some people nonetheless regard these organizations as 
terror organizations, just as the liberation movement in Denmark 
during the 2. WW was characterized by the occupying German forces and 
its Danish collaborators as terrorists.

The VS company Fighters & Lovers started selling T-shirts on January 
10th 2006, and the authorities reacted 5 weeks later by arresting 7 
members of the party, closing the company WEB site - in violation of 
the Danish constitution prohibiting censorship - confiscating 3.000 
Euro, and computer equipment the authorities claim was used by the company.

The VS members were released the same day, but the authorities have 
upheld the charges of violation of 114a. "We regard the charges and 
the closing of our WEB site as a blatant violation of the Danish
constitution and its guarantees for free speech, against censorship", 
states Michael Schoelardt, member of the national leadership of VS 
and director of Fighters & Lovers. He continues: "The Danish prime 
minister has referred to the "unrecoverable status of free speech" in 
his defence of drawings in the Danish newspaper "Jyllandsposten". 
Drawings that have provoked a considerable part of the world 
population. But free speech apparently doesn't apply in Denmark, when
it comes to support for the Palestinian liberation struggle or the 
struggle in Colombia for freedom and democracy, against the 
government death squads and repression. VS has supported national 
liberation struggles around the world for nearly 40 years, and will 
continue to do so, even though democracy in Denmark is under fierce 
attack from right wing parties these years", he concludes.

The Danish authorities during the last 5-10 years have been in a 
process of limiting the spaces for democracy in Denmark. Especially 
for refugees and immigrants. The present Danish government has been
especially active in promoting xenophobia, and campaigns against 
primarily Muslim immigrants. These measures have been critizised by 
other countries in Europe, the Human Rights Commission of the 
European Council, and several UN institutions. VS urges the 
international community and especially the international human rights 
organizations to monitor the developments in Denmark closely, and 
especially the ongoing restrictions on Democracy.

For further contacts:

Michael Schoelardt

Member of the national leadership of VS and director of Fighters & Lovers

+(45) 2422 1923 or 6162 4054
Tuesday, 21 February 2006



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