U.N. faults Denmark's response to attack

April 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, April 17 (UPI) -- A U.N. committee has found police failed to investigate the possible role of racism in an attack on an Iraqi refugee and his family in their east Denmark home.

The family was attacked by about 35 youths, some of them armed, inside their Soro, Denmark, home on June 21, 2004, and the family moved from the home, The Copenhagen Post reported Tuesday.

Four men convicted of violence, vandalism and illegal possession of weapons received only light sentences, and the victims, whose house was also damaged, received no compensation.

A sign reading "No blacks allowed" was placed near the house and attackers used the word "perkere," a Danish expletive for foreigners, the Post said.

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said a hate-crime investigation was warranted because of racist aspects and the violent nature of the attack on Mahali Dawas and his family.

"In circumstances as serious as those in this case, where the petitioners were subjected, in their own house, to a violent assault by 35 offenders, some of them armed, enough elements warranted a thorough investigation by public authorities into the possible racist nature of the attack against the family," the report stated.

The Post said the family still suffers mental trauma from the attack and Dawas' wife had a nervous breakdown, while his condition has worsened.

The U.N. committee called for the Danish government to review its policy on racially motivated violence.

The District Court of Naestved and the High Court of Eastern Denmark rejected a civil suit by the victims.

The report also recommended the victims receive compensation.

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