Jersild v Denmark, ECHR (1994)

The applicant is a Danish citizen, born in 1959. He is a journalist and resides in Copenhagen. The case concerns the applicant's conviction of having aided and abetted the dissemination of racist remarks. The applicant considers that this conviction violates his right to freedom of expression and he invokes Article 10 of the Convention.

Inspired by an article which appeared in the newspaper Information on 31 May 1985 the applicant decided to make a television programme which would describe the attitudes of a group of young people, who called themselves "the greenjackets" (grønjakkerne), in respect of racism at Østerbro in Copenhagen, and give a general description of the social standing of these young people. The applicant contacted representatives of the greenjackets, three of whom he invited to participate, in addition to a social worker responsible for the area, in a tape-recording of their viewpoints. The interview and its recording lasted between 5 and 6 hours resulting in 2-2 1/2 hours of tape and in the course of the interview, which was conducted by the applicant, the greenjackets spoke in abusive and derogatory terms about immigrants and ethnic groups in Denmark.

The applicant subsequently edited and cut the interview to a filmed feature of a few minutes which was broadcast in Danmarks Radio's news magazine "Søndagsavisen" on 21 July 1985. 

Citation: Jersild v Denmark (App no 15890/89) ECHR 23 September 1994

(from the official press-release prepared by the Registry Office of the  European Court of Human Rights)