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

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.

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

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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Denmark’s infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

Travellers from China should not need a negative Covid-19 test when arriving in Denmark, the national infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute recommended on Saturday, in an assessment sent to the Ministry of Health.

Denmark's infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

In the assessment by the State Serum Institute (SSI), it was noted that there aren’t expected to be a large number of arrivals coming directly from China and that any tests would have a marginal affect on Danish epidemic control.

However SSI wrote that it was still important to keep an eye on new variants of Covid-19 and suggested that a sample of voluntary-based PCR tests could be introduced for travellers from China.

The assessment was requested by Denmark’s health minister Sophie Løhde, following a recommendation on Wednesday by European Union experts to tighten travel rules.

Infection rates in China are high after it abolished its ‘zero Covid’ policy in late 2022, although no precise numbers are available.

Several European countries, including France, Spain, Italy and the UK, had already introduced testing requirements, while Sweden on Thursday announced a similar step, as did Germany, with an added announcement on Saturday to discourage non-essential travel from Germany to China.

The United States, Canada, India, South Korea and Taiwan have also put testing rules in place.

Health minister Sophie Løhde also asked SSI to assess testing waste water from aircraft landed from China. SSI responded that there is limited experience in this.

SSI currently analyses samples from shared toilet tanks at four airports twice a week – Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg and Billund. The method would have to be changed in order to detect new Covid-19 variants, which would take up to four weeks to implement, according to the assessment.

Løhde has informed the parliamentary parties about the assessment and has asked the Epidemic Commission for an advisory assessment, she said in a press release. Once this is done, the recommendations will be discussed.