Posted: 10 November 2004 By: Jemima Kiss
Another website has been closed following action by US authorities - this time a site run by Norwegian rap group and political activists Gatas Parlament.
killhim.no was launched in October as a satirical take on 'Tellhim.no', a Norwegian political campaign site that published reader-funded anti-Bush adverts in the Washington Post.
killhim.no asked readers to donate money towards a bounty for the assassination of Bush. One page on the site said: "Shooting this man is not just self defence, but is the only reasonable thing to do."
Springing to the website's defence, Aslak Borgersrud of Gatas Parlament, said: "It is fairly obvious to everyone not working at the American embassy or in the police that this was not about killing anyone. The website is a political campaign."
The US embassy in Oslo reported the site to Norwegian police, who then removed the contents of the site on 29 October and replaced it with a copy of the police closure order.
Police are reported to be investigating whether the group should be charged with threatening the president. The band could be fined or sentenced for up to two years in prison if found guilty.
Gatas Parlament has a reputation for controversy. A recent video referred to the Norwegian prime minster as 'a murderer, thief and a puppet who does everything George W Bush asks'.
Band member Martin Raknernud told dotJournalism that last year a Gatas Parlament video was barred from Scandinavian music channel ZTV, which broadcasts in the UK.
Directed by French filmmaker Romain Gavras, the 'Repaint the picture/deliver the word' video showed the group dressed as terrorists running around an underground station with bombs. The channel rejected the video for what it called 'disgraceful political behaviour'.
Last month the web servers of alternative global news network Indymedia were seized in the UK. More than 20 sites were brought down as a result, but no official reason was given for the action. Journalism organisations around the world were outraged by the closure, and a group of UK MPs called the move 'an attack on the freedom of speech via the internet'.