This is Norway: Fined and jailed for carrying an Israeli flag

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Jailed and fined NOK 10,000

This is how I stood by the roadside, Inge Telhaug (56) says. The police took the flags from him and arrested him.

By: Amund Sveen Horse
Published: May 17. 2012 (13:48) Updated: 17 May. 2012 (13:49)

On the 14th of May  Israel friend Inge Telhaug (56) marched by the roadside of E39, carrying a large Israeli flag and a Norwegian flag. The purpose was to celebrate the date of Israel’s declaration of independence 14 May 1948, writes.

The police stopped the man from Søgne three times, telling him leave the road side;  the third time he was taken to jail and locked up on a bare cell.

– In addition, I was fined NOK 10,000, – he says.

– Was not in the road

Telhaug now protests  the police allegations, which wrote about on Monday.

The police stopped and talked to Telhaug at 16.06, 17.13 and again at 18.52, all the time alleging he was “disrupting traffic walking in the middle of the road “, “waving flags”.

– Firstly, I was not waving the flags, I kept them right up when I was walking along the roadside. There I stood, safely behind the barrier, resting the flags on the right shoulder, across the creek away from the road as you can see in the picture, says Telhaug.

He tells his version because he wants to emphasize that he acted restrained and calm.

– Secondly , I was not in the middle of the road, as the police told Fædrelandsvennen. I was only on the road itself as I crossed to the other side something you need to do to get where you’re going. There’s no walking and cycling out here. I went off the asphalt edge, and stood whole time behind the barrier, where such barriers were present, he said.

The police, however, maintains that Telhaug represented an obstacle and a danger to the traffic.

– He was told not to walk in the middle of the road as he celebrated,  operations manager Børge Steinsland said to Fædrelandsvennen Monday.

Stripped of flags and pocket knife
As the police reiterated their requests to Telhaug stay off the road with his flags, the police frisked him, seized his pocket knife and took the two flags away from him.

Since there allegedly is equality before the Law, I look forward to the police being equally energetic in monitoring public safety in all other instances, including when pro-Palestinian activists hog the public room with their flags, banners, riots, etc.

Failing this, I do hope Mr. Telhaug appeals the decision and take the police to court for harassment.