Somalis equated with pedophiles and rapists

Concerning Mr. M.H.G vs Denmark for violation of article 2, paragraph 1 (d), 4 and 6 of CERD.

On 2 January 2003, the daily newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad published a letter to the editor by Ms. Pia Kjærsgaard, a member of the Danish Parliament and former leader of the Danish People’s Party. The petitioner considered that the contents of this publication equated persons of Somali origin with pedophiles and rapists, thereby directly offending him.

The Documentation and Advisory Centre on Racial Discrimination (DRC), on the petitioner’s behalf, reported the incident to the Copenhagen police. The Copenhagen police decided not to open an investigation. The Regional Public Prosecutor upheld the decision of the Copenhagen police.

The complaint was sent to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The State party submitted that the communication should be inadmissible and it reiterates that Ms. Kjærsgaard’s statements were devoid of any racist content.

The Committee concluded that the State party had failed to carry out an effective investigation to determine whether or not an act of racial discrimination had taken place. The Committee recommends that the State party should grant the petitioner adequate compensation for the moral injury caused by the above-mentioned violations of the Convention. The Committee also recommends that the State party should ensure that the existing legislation is effectively applied so that similar violations do not occur in the future. The State party is also requested to give wide publicity to the Committee’s opinion, including among prosecutors and judicial bodies.

24. March 2020

CERD 34/2004
  • Decision: 15. March 2006
  • Comm: Race