Jacob Mchangama

Danish human rights lawyer and free speech advocate

Europe
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 JMchangama

Jacob Mchangama is a Danish human rights lawyer specializing in civil and political rights, with a special emphasis on freedom of expression. He was the director of legal affairs at the independent think tank CEPOS in Copenhagen until 2014. He then founded and is currently the CEO of Justitia, a judicial think tank that promotes rule of law and fundamental individual rights in Denmark and abroad. Mchangama also teaches at the University of Copenhagen. In 2010, Mchangama was named the most influential Danish public intellectual under the age of 40 by the newspaper Politiken. He has been appointed as an expert witness at parliamentary hearings at the Danish parliament. In 2010, Mchangama co-founded the Copenhagen-based network Fri Debat, committed to the protection of freedom of expression. He was awarded the Venstre Party’s Freedom Prize in 2013. In response to recent terror attacks in Europe in 2016 and 2017, Mchangama wrote extensively on how “ civil society can play a vital role in fighting the Islamic ideology.” In 2017, he was outspoken advocate for abolishing Denmark’s outdated blasphemy law which was eventually repealed. He wrote, “… trying to appease extremists through compromising fundamental freedoms not only is misguided … it also legitimizes the intolerance that lies behind the enforcement of draconian blasphemy laws,” (Washington Post, 4/24/2017). His opinions on religious criticism, rule of law and censorship have appeared in numerous publications around the world and he is a frequent commentator on Danish TV and radio as well as social media and justitia.org.

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