Half a week after being the likely prime target in a terror attack that left two gunmen killed in Garland, Texas, it has been revealed that the controversial right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders will be coming to Denmark.
The press freedom organisation Trykkefrihedsselskabet has invited Wilders to speak at the annual Danish political festival Folkemødet on Bornholm, which this year is being held from June 11-14.
“We think he is an important voice in the freedom of speech debate, so he will be part of a debate event,” Katrine Winkel Holm, the head of Trykkefrihedsselskabet, told Ekstra Bladet tabloid.
“We’ve arranged it months ago. He has much to say about freedom of speech and Islam. One can agree or disagree with him, but we hope for a good debate.”
High security alert
The presence of Wilders – who has received scores of death threats over the years for his anti-Islamic views – will mean a massive security upgrade at the hugely popular festival.
The presence of Jylland-Posten’s editor Flemming Rose, who has also received death threats following the newspaper’s Mohammad Cartoons in 2005, will only add to the security risk.
The intelligence agency PET will be on high alert following the attack at a Copenhagen debate involving the controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks in February that left two dead and several wounded.
“We always discuss these types of events with PET, so they’ve been part of this all the way,” Holm said. “There’s always a risk, but we believe that the free word must be protected, even if someone is threatening us.”