POEM and FASM case

Concerning  the Umbrella Organization for the Ethnic Minorities (POEM) and the Association of Muslim Students (FASM), represented by counsel, vs Denmark for violation of articles 2, 4 and 6 of CERD.

Pia Kjærsgaard, the leader of the Danish People’s Party and Member of Parliament made the following statement in her weekly newsletter- “the multiculturalization of Denmark brings trouble in its train like gang and group formation, mass rape and complete indifference to the principles on which the Danish legal system is built.” and “The phenomenon of mass rape is also new in a Danish context and is linked with a cultural perception of Danish girls as prostitutes who can be defiled without shame, while the same boys and guys are brought up to murder a sister if she breaches the family and cultural codes.“

POEM represents a number of Muslim organizations and FASM is an all-Muslim organization. Therefore, when Islamophobic and other prejudicial statements against Muslims are made public, both the petitioners and their members, including the non-Muslims, are affected.

The DRC thus reported the statement to the Copenhagen Police. The Police decided to discontinue the case as they were of the view that important weight should be given to considerations related to the freedom of expression and of political debate. The appeal to the Regional Public Prosecutor was also rejected for similar reasons. Thus a complaint was sent to CCPR.

The Committee notes that none of the petitioners were plaintiffs in the domestic proceedings and that the report to the Copenhagen Police was only submitted by the DRC. The Committee considers that it is a basic requirement that domestic remedies have to be exhausted by the petitioners themselves and not by other organizations or individuals. The Committee finds therefore that this communication is inadmissible.

17. December 2019

CERD 22/2002
  • Decision: 15. April 2003
  • Comm: Race