“race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin”

Concerning P. S. N. (represented by counsel, the Documentation and Advisory Centre on Racial Discrimination) vs Denmark for violation of articles 2, 4 and 6 of CERD.

Ms. Louise Frevert, a Member of Parliament for the Danish People’s Party, published statements against immigration and Muslims on her website. She also published similar statements in a book and upheld them in an interview with the Danish newspaper “Politiken”.

The DACoRD, on the petitioner’s behalf, filed three complaints against Ms. Frevert. The first was regarding the website, the second regarding the book and the third regarding the interview. DACoRD claimed that these statements were directed against a specific group of people (Muslims), that they were taunting and degrading, and that they had a propagandistic character.

All three complaints were rejected by the Commissioner of the Police, mostly because they found that there was no reasonable evidence to support that an unlawful act had been committed. The Regional Public Prosecutor upheld the negative decision by the police. Thus a complaint was sent to CERD.
The Committee takes note of the offensive nature of the statements complained of and recalls that freedom of speech carries with it both duties and responsibilities. However, it considers that the statements in question are directed at persons of a particular religion or religious group, and not at persons of a particular “race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin”. It, therefore, concludes that the petition falls outside the scope of the Convention and declares it inadmissible.

22. July 2021

CERD 36/2006
  • Decision: 8. August 2007
  • Comm: Race