To the Mayor of Aarhus
RACIALY ABUSED IN AARHUS, DENMARK.
July 15, 2012.
Dear Aarhus Mayor
“Last night I endured grueling racial abuse in Aarhus.”
The Danish law and constitution stipulate that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion. Yet, I endured racial abuse yesterday around midnight at Kurts Mor bar, which is located in Fredens Torv 7, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. I passed by the establishment and decided to go inside for some refreshments. An imposing Danish security guard stood in my way and clearly told me, “Black people are not allowed.” I was shocked and I asked him why. He told me the owner of the place had directed him to do so because a Somali male was suspected of stealing from the bar. I told him that this was illegal in Denmark to discriminate against anyone on the basis of colour and he told me he was just doing his job. I told him that this was violating my human rights as stipulated in the Danish law, but he was unrelenting.
He also told me that he had refused seven other Africans entry into the bar. I walked away, feeling traumatized and in shame. Then i decided to document this racial abuse. So I asked a guy, who was nearby to take a video of me trying to enter the bar. Upon witnessing that we were taking footage of me trying to enter, the door man used force and shut the door in front of me. It was humiliating and degrading. Shortly another African male approached and we told him he could not get inside because the security had told us that black people were not allowed. He was surprised and he tried getting inside, but was vehemently refused entry on the basis of his skin colour. He was also shocked and felt discriminated.
Afterwards, I walked to the nearby police station in front of train in order to make a police report and file charges, but it was closed. So I called the emergency number 112 and they put me through to the police. I explained to the gentleman who answered my racial abuse ordeal and asked him to send a dispatch car to Kurts Mor to witness and question this degrading racial abuse in play. The police man told me that there were few people on duty and they could not send a dispatch car to my aid. He asked me to come to the main station this coming monday morning and file charges. I asked for his name and he refused to give me his name but told me I should come to the police station and make a report on monday.
I started walking, feeling degraded and humiliated. Then I saw a police van opposite Magasin store and signaled for the driver to stop. He stopped, wind down his window and I told him about my racial abuse ordeal and that this was actually ongoing. I asked him to drive with me to Kurts Mor so he could document the practice himself, but he told me he couldn't assist me as he was on dispatch to another emergency. He also told me to go to the police on monday and file a complaint. So I walked home clearly traumatized by this ordeal. I tried to sleep, but I hardly got any sleep last night as tried to reconcile why in 2012, in Denmark, racial discrimination is still practiced in some public places such as Kurts Mor.
So I am going to file a charge on Monday morning at the police station against this bar. Aarhus is a beautiful town with so much diversity and recently I attended and supported the tolerance rally which was against an upcoming neo nazi anti islamic protests, which saw extremist right wing groups converging in Aarhus. But the people of Aarhus stood together against this and this. I think what happened to me last night at Kurts Mor is against the spirit of tolerance that has been promoted in Aarhus.
I am an active resident in Aarhus and I contribute significantly to the cultural and social life. I have lived here for two years and feel quite safe as a resident. But last nights incident left me with a cold taste in my mouth. I am still in shock and feel quite degraded. I have faith that the law will take its course when I file my charge on monday morning. I am clearly shocked that such open and blatant racial abuse exists in a country whose law clearly forbids racism. I have faith in the Danish justice system and I am looking forward to getting this matter resolved.
Denmark signed and ratified all International human rights conventions and implemented EU Directives on anti-discrimination. Denmark has an Anti discrimination Criminal Act on the Prohibition of discrimination on any ground such as Race, Colour, Nationality or Ethnic Background, Faith or Sexual orientation. This Penal code article 266b forbids threatening, insulting and degrading public remarks and propaganda against a group of persons because of race, skin colour, nationality or ethnic origin, faith and sexual orientation. Article 70 protects against barriers to enjoying the civil and political rights of religious and ethnic minorities.
Bellow you can watch some footage of the incident.
Author and Human Rights Activist.
Author and Human Rights activist.
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