Lars Hedegaard Will Sue The Swedish Media— and rightly so.
The treatment by the Swedish media of last week’s assassination attempt against Lars Hedegaard was, shall we say, less than fair and balanced. Typical descriptions of Lars included “enemy of Islam” and “convicted racist”.
The last of these terms is verifiably false. As a result, Lars Hedegaard has lodged a libel complaint with both the Press Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice in Sweden. Maria Celander has the report inÂ Dispatch International:
Lars Hedegaard Sues Swedish Media for Libel
by Maria Celander
The February 5th assassination attempt on Lars Hedegaard, editor-in-chief ofDispatch International, was reported all over the world. There was a remarkable difference, however, between the way in which the Swedish media and international media handled the news. While international media systematically called Hedegaard “an Islam-critic”, or even “prominent Islam-critic”, Swedish media chose just as systematically to use the loaded term “enemy of Islam”.
Several Swedish newspapers also chose to publish various versions of the story from Swedish national news agencyÂ TT, which contained this wording:
“Lars Hedegaard, once convicted for racism, has been subject to an assassination attempt. An unknown man reportedly shot at Hedegaard outside his Copenhagen home.
“The author Hedegaard is one of the few Danes who is a certified racist, as he some years ago was fined by a High Court for having stated in a blog interview that Muslim fathers rape their children. He was later acquitted by the Supreme Court.”
The truth is that no conviction of Lars Hedegaard was upheld. The charges under to the Danish “racism clause” were rejected without dissent by the Supreme Court, which thus invalidated the High Court conviction.
“Writing in this way as if the conviction were final is nothing but an outright lie. The only existing conviction is an acquittal,” states the journalist and expert on freedom of press Nils Funcke.
Lars Hedegaard never received any “racist certificate”. No court ever said anything to that effect in any verdict. For that reason, Hedegaard has now chosen to report several Swedish media, includingÂ Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet, Sveriges Television, SydsvenskanÂ andÂ Helsingborgs Dagblad, for libel. This charge has been filed withÂ AllmÃ¤nhetens Pressombudsman, (the Press Ombudsman) as well as the Chancellor of Justice.
“After several years of misuse, the word ‘racist’ means nothing more than a person considered by the rulers to be a threat to their power, and whom they thus persecute by all means possible. Being called ‘racist’ in Sweden today is similar to being branded an ‘outlaw’ during the Middle Ages â€” a person standing outside the protection of the law, and whom one can thus freely lie about, assault and even kill,” says Lars Hedegaard.