“Immigrant pig” case

Concerning A.N.S (represented by counsel) vs Denmark for violation of articles 2 and 6 of CERD.

The petitioner was working on a construction site in a public housing area in Randers, Denmark, for the company “Assentoft Painters and Decorators” owned by Jesper Christensen. When the petitioner approached Mr. Christensen to claim overdue payments, their conversation developed into an argument during which Mr. Christensen made statements such as “Immigrant pig” and “Both you and all Arabs smell”.

On behalf of the petitioner, the DRC informed the police about the incident. The Chief Constable of the police discontinued the investigation as he found that these statements had not been made publicly or with the intention of wider dissemination. The petitioner thus appealed the decision before the Regional Public Prosecutor arguing that Mr. Christensen made his statements on a construction site in a public housing area and, therefore, had at least accepted the possibility that other people would hear his comments.The Regional Public Prosecutor dismissed the case yet again. Thus a complaint was sent to CERD.

The committee found that the Danish authorities’ decision to discontinue proceedings on the ground of lack of evidence as to whether the employer’s statements were made publicly or with the intention of wider dissemination have prejudiced a request by the petitioner to institute criminal proceedings. The institution of such proceedings can be regarded as an effective remedy which the petitioner failed to exhaust. Therefore the committee declared this communication to be inadmissible.

 

17. December 2019

CERD 25/2002
  • Decision: 16. April 2003
  • Comm: Race