Denmark: Sad Day for Freedom of Speech, Coronavirus Criticism Forbidden by Law

How’s that “democracy” going for you now?

Per Braendgaard 2020/4/2 – [Translated with Google] I withdraw from the public disclosure and debate on corona from now on.

The reason is that the Danish Parliament today passed a new emergency law (L 157), which allows websites to be closed and to impose fines and imprisonment on persons who communicate information about COVID-19 that do not comply with the official announcements from the authorities.

As one can now risk imprisonment for up to eight months to make a critical statement about COVID-19 (and about the authorities in general in connection with corona), so I choose to withdraw from public information and debate from now on.

It was interesting as long as it lasted. I will continue to follow the corona case, but I will keep my knowledge to myself.

It is a sad day for government, freedom of speech, democracy and Denmark.

Here is a link to the entire bill passed.


I have particularly adhered to section 2 para. 1: “Blocking can also occur if there is reason to assume that a violation of sections 161, 163, 171 or 189, section 263 (2) of the Criminal Code is committed from the website. 1, or §§263a, 276, 278-283, 289-290a, 300a, 301 or 303, which have a background in or context of the covid-19 epidemic in Denmark. ”

Paragraph 1 states that the penalties are doubled for violating these sections of the Criminal Code: “The penalty prescribed in sections 111-122, 133-134 b, 135, 144, 161 and 163, § 172, cf. § 171 (2). 1, § 189, § 247, subs. 2, § 263 (2). 1 and par. 3, cf. 1, §263 a, § 285, para. 1, cf. §§ 276, 276a, 278, 279, 279a, 280,281, 282 and 283, §286, cf. §§ 276, 276a, 278, 279, 279a, 280, 281, 282 and 283 , § 287 (2). 1, cf. sections 276, 276 a, 278,279, 279 a, 280, 281, 282 and 283, as well as sections 288-290, 290 and 293, section 299 (2). 2, and sections 300 a, 301 and 303, may be increased up to double if the offense is based on or linked to the covid-19 epidemic in Denmark. ”

Among the cited sections of the Criminal Code, I have based my assessment in particular on these:

§ 163. Anyone who, for use in legal matters relating to the public, in writing or in any other legible media, makes an incorrect statement or testifies something of which the person is not aware is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 4 months.
§ 189. Anyone who sells or otherwise seeks widespread as medicines or preventive agents against diseases, of which he knows that they are unfit for the stated purpose and that their use for this endangers human life or health is at risk. with a fine or imprisonment until 6 years.
§ 189 2. If the crime is negligent, the sentence is fine or imprisonment until 4 months.

In §§ 163 and 189, it is highly subjective when a person “does not have knowledge” and when drugs and preventative drugs are “unsuitable”.

Higher penalties are the first step. Next comes political pressure on the police to catch and on the court to convict. The doubling of the sentences for corona-related utterances is in itself a political signal that it is particularly criminal, so special attention should be paid to it.

My conclusion is that freedom of speech in relation to corona is now effectively removed. You are now in danger of being imprisoned for up to 8 months if you utter anything that does not match the official statements of the National Board of Health, the Danish Serum Institute, the Police, the Minister of Health or the Prime Minister.

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