Danish anti-lockdown protester begs for cut to two-year jail sentence

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Danish anti-lockdown protester begs for cut to two-year jail sentence
Members of the anti-lockdown Men in Black group outside Copenhagen District Court. Photo:Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

A Danish woman who was jailed for her part in an anti-lockdown protest in Copenhagen, tearfully begged a high court on Monday to significantly reduce her sentence.


The woman, who was jailed for two years had called on the crowd through a megaphone to "smash the city in a non-violent way".

"If I'd wanted to incite people to something, I would have been the world's worst instigator, since I also told people to stay calm," she told the court on Monday when the defence lawyer Henrik Plæhn asked her what she had shouted in the megaphone. "I didn't think that there was anything problematic in any of the things I shouted."

The 31-year-old made her speech at a Copenhagen demonstration organised by the Men in Black anti-lockdown group in January, which later descended into violence, with 16 police officers being hit by stones, cans and other objects thrown by demonstrators.

After she was convicted in March of "incitement to violence", she received a double punishment under clause 81d, a new part of the penal code reserved for offences which have "a background in or connection with the Covid 19 epidemic in Denmark".



Kristian Hegaard, legal spokesman for the Social Liberal, criticised the sentence as unworthy of a democratic country.

"The clause for coronavirus-related crimes should never have been made," he wrote on Twitter in March. "It is absolutely insane to receive double punishment for criticism of coronavirus policy. One should not fear double punishment for demonstrating against the government, not in a state governed by the rule of law.

The woman told the court that her four months in Vestre Prison, Copenhagen's main jail, had been tough, adding that she especially missed her two young children.

In the high court, the prosecution played several new video sequences, which had not been shown in the district court, to underline the extent to which the woman had incited and encouraged violence against police officers.

The woman was the first to be convicted under the coronavirus clause for anything other than financial fraud.




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