Man on trial for “racist remarks”
Yesterday was a historic day at the Court of the Faroe Islands.
It was the first time that Section 266b, also known as the anti-racism clause, was used in court.
A man has been charged with making derogatory remarks aimed at a specific religious group, in this case Muslims. His defence lawyer insists that he was only referring to radical Muslims.
“I hate all Muslims”
The incident took place in a restaurant in Tórshavn on 30 January at 2pm last year.
Two people with a non-Faroese background sat down at a table where the defendant was sitting together with two other Faroese persons.
According to the indictment, he said:
“I hate all Muslims. You are horrible people who just want to take advantage of Denmark. You should all be thrown out of the country. Muslims are responsible for all crimes in Denmark and Sweden:”
“I’ll kill all Muslims”
The two foreign men left the table and sat down at another table. The defendant continued his verbal onslaught, and one of them decided to call the police.
He is then quoted in the indictment as saying:
“I’ll kill all Muslims. I will kill you. Muslims should be exterminated.”
The defendant denied the charges saying he cannot relate to the quotes. He said he had no problems with the two persons in the restaurant and that he never referred to Muslims in general but only to radical Muslims.
Regarding the death threats, the defendant said he uttered the words when he heard the man who called the police saying that if the police did not arrive immediately, he would kill the defendant. The claimant denied having said this.
The prosecution spent a long time getting the witnesses to confirm the remarks they had heard. A great deal of effort was also made to determine the number of guests at the restaurant at the time.
This is important as section 266b states that in order to breach the law, a derogatory remark must be made in public or with the intent of being spread to a wider audience.
Yesterday’s court sitting was marked by language difficulties.
The judge and the prosecutor speak Danish and understand Faroese. The two claimants do not understand Danish and speak only basic Faroese. This meant that the Faroese defence lawyer had to double up as an interpreter.
The case has now been postponed until next week.
Translated by prosa.fo