Dane charged with blasphemy for burning the Quran

Dane charged with blasphemy for burning the Quran
For the first time in 46 years: A 42-year-old Danish man has been charged with blasphemy for burning the Quran. It is the first time since 1971 that the indictment for blasphemy is used in Denmark.

It is the prosecutor of the North Jutland Police that has indicted the 42-year-old man, who in December 2015 published a video on Facebook, where he burns the Quran, informs State attorney Jan Reckendorff from the Public Prosecutor's office in Viborg, in a statement.

The State attorney supports the claim of the North Jutland Police to prosecute for blasphemy and violation of Penal Code §140, reports BT.

- It is the prosecution's view that the circumstances of the burning of holy books like the Bible and the Quran implies that in some cases it may be a violation of the blasphemy clause, says Jan Reckendorff.

According to the indictment, the 42-year-old burned an edition of the Quran in his own backyard. He filmed the scene and on December 27, 2015, he posted a video of the incident on Facebook.

The video was posted on the public group "Ja til frihed - nej til Islam" (Yes to freedom - no to Islam) and according to the indictment, the text that followed the video said: "Think of your neighbor, it stinks when it burns."

- It is our opinion that the circumstances of this case implies that there should be a prosecution so that the courts now have the opportunity to decide on the matter, says Reckendorff in the press release.

He has referred the matter to the Prosecutor General, which has agreed to the decision to prosecute.

The blasphemy section has a maximum sentence of up to four months in prison. But the 42-year-old will not be put behind bars. If he is found guilty, the prosecutors will require him fined.

It is the first time since 1971 that the indictment for blasphemy is used in Denmark, and the prosecution has repeatedly denied that it could be used, including in 2006 when it saw no grounds for bringing charges in connection with the Muhammad cartoons.

Norway removed its blasphemy law in 2015, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, and there have been discussions if Denmark should do the same.

READ: The blasphemy law has been removed from the Norwegian Penal Code

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