Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2001

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Image: Racist thugs sought by police after 2001 race riots in Britain (police photo)

November 16, 2001

Racists to be extradited under EU arrest-warrant

POLITICIANS and commentators who advocate racist and xenophobic view points risk being arrested and handed to another European Union member state, where laws on such matters are far stronger, reports Danish newspaper Politiken.

That is the result of the proposal for European Union-wide arrest warrants being discussed by justice and home affairs ministers from the 15 member states today, Friday [Nov 16, 2001]. Racism is on the list of 29 crimes to which the new European arrest warrant should be applicable. The list also covers terror, murder, membership in a criminal organisation, human trafficking, rape and other offences.

Undermines right to free expression

The right to free expression in Denmark allows as an example denial of Nazi concentration camps which is considered to be a criminal offence in Germany and France. "You may like such expressions or not, but in Denmark we have decided to allow such things as part of our right to free expression. If the tabled EU-proposal is decided, freedom of expression will be undermined in this area," Vagn Greve, a Professor in criminal law told Politiken.

Double incrimination

Politicians and commentators do not have to express such views abroad in order to avoid getting into conflict with racism legislation in other member states, according to legal experts, writes the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Opinions printed in a foreign newspaper or on the Internet can be sufficient as a way of breaching other countries' racism legislation.

A prosecuting office within any European Union member state can issue an arrest warrant, obligating the police in all other member states to find and arrest the suspect, under the European arrest warrant proposal being discussed on Friday in Brussels.

Written by Peter Karlsen
Edited by Daniela Spinant

The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
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