Danish politician reported to the police for statement about bombing women and children

Søren Espersen has since apologised for the remarks in question

Søren Espersen, Dansk Folkeparti’s foreign affairs spokesperson, has attracted fierce criticism and has been reported to the police for a statement he made on TV2 in which he said that the coalition against Islamic State (IS) should bomb civilian targets where there are women and children.

“We don’t bomb places where there are civilians, but we need to start doing so. IS hides behind women and children in villages and towns and they know that we as gentlemen won’t bomb them. This needs to stop,” he said.

The interviewer then asked him “Am I hearing you say that we should bomb places where there are women and children?” To which Espersen responded in the affirmative.

“Yes, of course. We’ll have to when that’s where the IS fighters are. What’s more the women are very much part of the system. We can no longer have a situation where IS goes completely free, knowing that they will never be bombed. We need to expand the war to a real war, or we will lose.”

Could have been misunderstood
Peter Skaarup, DF’s parliamentary group leader, quickly took to Twitter in response to the statement.

“Of course we shouldn’t hunt civilian women and children. Espersen has apologised if his statements could be understood otherwise,” Skaarup tweeted.

Indeed, Espersen said in a written statement to BT that he was sorry for how his words could have been construed.

“I certainly don’t think that we should either hunt or target innocent women or children,” he said.

“I can only apologise if my answer earlier today could have been understood in that way. That was not the intention, and that is not my opinion.”

Reported for terrorism
However, on the basis of the statement on TV2, the author Sigurd Hartkorn Plaetner reported Espersen to the police, alleging that he had committed terrorism by “encouraging terror through the killing of women and children.”

Plaetner posted on his Facebook page a screenshot of an email he sent to Copenhagen Police, in which he cites paragraph 114 of the criminal code on terror and paragraph 266 on inciting violence.