Threats to politicians is a democracy problem

PST-chief Benedicte Bjørnland (R) and police attorney Signe Aalling politiciansChief of PST, Benedicte Bjørnland, (r) and Police Attorney, Signe Aalling. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB scanpix

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Threats to politicians is a democracy problem, says PST

Threats to politicians are a democracy problem, the Norwegian Special Branch (PST) asserts. PST is now to investigate those threats at the behest of the Norwegian Public Prosecutor’s Office.

 

“We want those who threaten the politicians to receive adequate follow-up. That it is being investigated with force and that the reactions are accordingly. As we see it, this does not only affect politicians as individuals, but it is also a democracy problem,” Chief of PST, Benedicte Bjørnland tells NRK.

According to Bjørnland, the various police districts in Norway investigate such threats differently. Through what is referred to as «Operation hate», PST will now map what the police are doing, what PST does and how such threats will be treated seriously.

“Threats to politicians are an ever-increasing problem,” the Director of the Norwegian Public Prosecutors Office states. He believes that the cases have to be met by stricter punishments.

“We believe that punishment helps to change norms. We believe that punishment has a general preventive effect, which can change how the climate of speech is in society,” says Senior State Attorney at the Norwegian Public Prosecutor’s Office, Terje Nybøe.

Islamist Mohyeldeen Mohammad was sentenced by Oslo District Court to two years and six months in prison for threats to Liberal parliamentary representative Abid Q. Raja in November 2018. In January, a 62-years-old man from Trøndelag was sentenced to 18 days of suspended imprisonment and a fine of NOK 5,000 for threats and hate speech directed at Hadia Tajik (Labour).

Minister of Justice, Tor Mikkel Wara (Progress Party) has also been exposed to serious threats and vandalism several times over the past few months. As late as last month, Wara received a threat letter, and a garbage bin outside his home was put on fire. Nobody has been indicted for those threats.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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