UPDATE, 14:01: Yahya Hassan's assailant has been identified as 24-year-old Isaac Meyer. In a preliminary hearing at the Copenhagen City Court, Meyer admitted to the court that he assaulted Hassan. According to Ekstra Bladet, Meyer was convicted on terror charges in 2007 and was handed a seven-year prison sentence. He was conditionally released after just three years. The assault on Hassan carries a potential sentence of three years in prison.
ORIGINAL, 13:25: The poet Yahya Hassan was assaulted with punches to his head and body while waiting on a platform at Copenhagen Central Station yesterday, according to media reports.
According to Jyllands-Posten newspaper, DSB staff quickly apprehended a 24-year-old man who was subsequently arrested by police and will be charged today with politically-motivated assault.
“The assailant hit him in the head from behind with a closed fist several times and shouted that he was a infidel and should die,” Kenneth Jensen, the investigation leader for the Copenhagen Police, told Jyllands-Posten.
Hassan sustained no serious injuries from the attack and confirmed to Politiken newspaper that the assault took place.
Hassan – whose parents are Palestinian – is known for his criticism of the immigrant community, which he accuses of bad parenting.
He rose to prominence after an initial column in Politiken newspaper was followed up by an appearance on the TV programme 'DR Deadline'. The attention he received led his publisher Gyldendahl to extend the run of his first poetry book from 600 to 17,000. He was honoured as the debut author of the year at a recent book forum, and a translation of his poems into English is also underway.
After his first appearance in the media, Hassan has been subject to threats and is under the protection of the domestic intelligence agency PET, his publisher Gyldendahl told Jyllands-Posten.
The controversy stirred up by Hassan has extended beyond Denmark’s borders and he was earlier this month interviewed by the US newspaper Wall Street Journal.