Lawsuit over controversial DF advert moves forward

Dansk Folkeparti is not interested in apologising for publishing the names of nearly 700 new citizens and saying one of them was a terrorist

Right-wing Dansk Folkeparti (DF) and its leader, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, are being sued over the controversial advertisement the party produced in May that revealed the names of almost 700 new Danish citizens and inferred that one of them was a terrorist.

Lawyer Thorkild Høyer has lodged a lawsuit against DF for violating libel laws on behalf of 16 of the citizens in the advert.

The headline of the 685-name advertisement, which was printed by a number of newspapers, read: “One person on the list in a danger to Denmark’s security. Now he will become a Dane”.

”Dansk Folkeparti has taken my clients hostage in a campaign with a very narrow political angle,” Høyer told BT tabloid. “DF should admit that they’ve stepped on the little man’s shoes in this case.”

READ MORE: "Danish hateparty" advert condemned

Citizenship for "potential terrorist"
DF condemned the government for granting citizenship to a “potential terrorist”, an unnamed stateless Palestinian who was entitled to Danish citizenship under a UN convention, but who has been identified as a threat to Danish security by the domestic intelligence agency PET.

When the advert was printed, Høyer urged the people involved to contact him if they wanted compensation.

In July, the 16 people suing said that they would settle if they received an “unreserved, personal and written apology for DF unfairly associating their names with terrorism”. But DF has refused to apologise.

READ MORE: "We are not just the foreigner-hating party"

Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Søren Espersen, the deputy head of DF, argued that the party only published information that was already available publicly on the Justice Ministry’s website.

“We are not interested in a settlement," Espersen told BT. "In our opinion, we had a right to do what we did and to create a debate about handing citizenship to a person who endangers the nation’s security,” Espersen told BT.

According to Høyer, fines in such cases typically end up being around 25,000 kroner.