Danish newspaper lights fuse under another potential cartoon crisis – this time insulting India

Politiken’s drawing comes at a time when both countries have been recently rebuilding diplomatic relations following a lengthy schism

It’s been a bad week for Denmark in the international press, following Amnesty International’s damning report on the country’s record on rape.

The report claimed that at least 5,000 women are raped in Denmark annually, but less than 1,000 file the case with the police, and only 100 leads to a conviction.

But Politiken, the country’s most respected and prestigious broadsheet – a regular winner of international awards – isn’t taking the matter too seriously.

And once again, being Denmark, a cartoon is at the centre of the controversy.

READ MORE: Consent discontentment: Battling for a rape law sea-change

Let’s go on holiday to rape
In its Kultur section today, it has run a A4-size cartoon depicting a group of four Indian men reading about the Amnesty International report.

“Amnesty: Denmark has a pervasive rape culture,” is the headline on the newspaper India Today that one of them is holding – a claim favoured by Britain’s The Daily Mail, CNN and The Washing Post, amongst others yesterday.

One of the Indian men suggests to his friends: “What about a trip to Denmark?”

The caption at the bottom of the cartoon then reads: “Ifølge Amnesty International har Danmark en udbredt voldtægtskultur” – ‘according to Amnesty International Danmark has a pervasive rape culture’.

Part of International Women’s Day coverage
The drawing has been submitted by the cartoonist Mette Dreyer as part of the newspaper’s extensive coverage of International Women’s Day.

A 2018 survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation has ranked India as the world’s most dangerous country for women.

The cartoon comes at a time when Denmark and India have been rebuilding diplomatic relations following a lengthy schism – the result of years of resistance from Denmark to extradite Niels Holck, a Dane accused of trading weapons to Bengali separatists in 1995.