Denmark: Editor considers showing up in court

Politiken's chief editor Tøger Seidenfaden is considering showing up in court if the Jordanian court case really comes to something. He says he doesn't reject the idea, but that it depends on the circumstances.

11 Danish media people have been sued in Jordan for blasphemy, incitement to rioting and threatening the national peace, the punishment for which can be up to three years in prison.

Seidenfaden says that it's clear that laws are necessarily different in a country where the king's family descends from the prophet than in a land like Denmark, where there's a small Muslim minority, and that therefore it's also clear that there are some problems to enforce national laws in another country.

However, he's not been officially indicted as of yet.

He says he hopes this case would enable the Jordanians to understand more about what Danish media did and how things happen in Denmark. He hopes that he's get the opportunity to address the Jordanian public.


Eleven Danes have been summoned to appear before the Jordanian pubic prosecutor to answer charges of blasphemy and threatening the national peace. They include the cartoonist who drew one of the Mohammed cartoons and editors from 10 of the 17 newspapers that reprinted them.

The group behind the announcement is called The Prophet Unites Us, a union of Jordanian media organisations, organisations and private individuals.

'The public prosecutor decided to summon the Danes for a series of criminal offences. Now the Danes have to meet in Jordan,' said Zakaria al-Sheikh, the group's general secretary, to Politiken newspaper.

He explained that the public prosecutor will ask the Danish embassy for help in contacting Danish officials to arrange the meeting of the editors.

Osama al-Bettar, the group's lawyer, said that if the Danes do not appear, the next step will be to inform Interpol and seek their arrest.

The public prosecutor confirmed to Politiken that the editors have been summoned.

However, the Danish foreign ministry has said that a forced deportation is not a possibility. It would require that the printing of the Mohammed cartoons is punishable in Denmark, which is not the case.

The case will be heard by Jordanian public prosecutor Hassan Abdullat on 21 April. He will hear witness testimony and decide if the case will continue further with the possibility of a three-year jail term or be dismissed.

The case is being brought under changes made to the Jordanian Justice Act in 2006.

The changes make it possible for Jordanian officials to prosecute crimes committed outside the country if it affected the people of Jordan by electronic means.

The 10 Danish newspapers all published the cartoons on their websites in February after a threat was made on the life of one the cartoonists.

Both the cartoonist and the responsible editors are accused of violating Jordanian law, which prohibits the ridicule of a prophet. It is considered offensive to depict Mohammed in any way.

Sources: Copenhagen Post (English), DR (Danish)


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous.
How about taking imams and mullahs to court because majority of them have multiple wifes.
Bigamy is (still) a crime in Europe.

Anonymous said...
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212Austin212 said...

All western people should buy Danish goods as much as possible. Try to boycott Jordanian goods, not so easy since they do not produce much. Boycott Jordan as a tourist destination. Put presure on our governments to reduce foreign aid to Jordan, a major part of the total Jordanian economy.