31 May 2017 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 02 Apr 2015 n° 44/2015 Denmark

Two Danish Journalists Prosecuted for Exposing a Public Health Hazard

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner RSF
Partner RSF
In Denmark, two journalists, Nils Mulvad and Kjeld Hansen who exposed a public health scandal were fined in October 2014 for an article published in 2010. In the article, they expose the names of farms where the drug-resistant bacteria MRSA was spreading. They have been charged for publishing secret information on the farmers' health. Their lawyer accused the authorities of persecuting the “messenger” instead of addressing the problem raised by the journalists.
The two journalists appealed against these sanctions.
31 May 2017: On 22 January 2016, the Danish Supreme Court ruled that a pending trial has no suspensory effect on the disclosure of information for documents “with a significant public interest”. The Danish Journalist Association expressed its satisfaction with the judgment, stating that it was “important that media and journalists are not prevented from access to data of public interest even when large organisations or companies try to bring proceedings” preventing it. On 31 May 2017, following consultations and consideration of the implications of the judgment, the partner organisations of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.   Danish Supreme Court ruling
State replies
15 May 2015
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