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Denmark: Convictions for Terrorism T-Shirts

(Mar. 30, 2009) Denmark's Supreme Court has upheld a High Court conviction of six members of the group “Fighters+Lovers.” The defendants were found guilty of supporting terrorism through donations to two organizations, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), both of which are listed by the European Union as terrorist organizations. The donations were raised through the sale of t-shirts in 2006; the shirts included the logos of FARC and PFLP, and 37 kroner of each sale (about US$6.70) went to the two organizations.

The six defendants and one other person were originally tried in Copenhagen City Court, which freed them, finding no reason to label FARC and PFLP as terrorist organizations. The public prosecutor appealed to the High Court, which overturned the initial decision. The High Court handed down sentences of six months in prison for two defendants, gave four others suspended sentences, and released one. The six sentenced group members appealed to the Supreme Court, which gave them all suspended sentences. They could have been imprisoned for up to ten years under Danish law on terrorism. (Supreme Court Upholds T-Shirt Terror Convictions, THE COPENHAGEN POST, Mar. 25, 2009, available at

Fighters+Lovers plans to appeal further to the European Court of Human Rights; the group believes that organizations that are involved in legitimate struggles against existing regimes should not be labeled as terrorists. Speaking about the recent decision, Katrine Willumsen, one of the defendants, said:

I am angry at such an unjust political ruling. We've received a sentence for making t-shirts, which is ridiculous, but most of all it is dangerous for democracy and shows that the terror law has completely come apart. There's still time to change so that our political freedom rights are not undermined. (Id.)