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Greenpeace Charged as "Terrorists" for Anti-GMO Protest in Denmark

Greenpeace charged with terrorism 12 May 2005,610566&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL& ic_nextitemno=1&ic_itemid=828689

Greenpeace has been charged with terrorism for a 2003 action. Politicians who supported the country's terrorism laws are against the move Environmental organisation Greenpeace has been charged with terrorism, making it the first organisation to be charged under the country's terrorism laws passed in the wake of the World Trade Centre terror actions.

The charge stems from a 2003 action in which the organisation protested genetically modified crops by hanging a banner on the headquarters of a Danish agricultural organisation. Greenpeace often uses that type of action to draw attention to its causes, which usually results in a fine for those activists participating in the action.

The charge against Greenpeace is based on law change that allows entire organisations to be prosecuted for the acts of individual members.

'When the terrorism laws were implemented, a rule was made so that organisations that did something illegal could be punished. But it was clear that the point was to target organisations that supported terrorism. Now, they are trying to use it against a peaceful group like Greenpeace,' said Greenpeace's attorney Steen Beck to national broadcaster DR.

The charge also has some in parliament concerned that the terror law is being misused.

'If the law is being used to stifle political debate, then we'll need to look into narrowing it down,' said Sandy Brinck, an opposition Social Democratic member of the parliament's judiciary committee.

The matter was a case of 'I told you so' for other opposition parties. 'During the debate, we warned that the law could be used in ways that it wasn't meant to, and now the fear is that it actually will be,' said Socialist member of the judiciary committee Anne Baastrup.

Justice Minister Lene Espersen refused to comment on the case until the courts had made a decision.