Hardline Danish Minister of Integration Ms Inger Stojberg is once again world news. She is this time round proposing that any immigrant who commits a crime be banned to a remote island far off the coast of Denmark, in order to make them feel unwanted.
Peculiar detail is that the government used the island for testing contagious diseases on animals before. The boat that will transport them to the island is therefore called ‘Virus.’
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In order to sell the plan to the general public, the Danish People’s Party has made an animation video which is spreading like wildfire on social media. It shows a tugboat carrying a (Muslim) male immigrant being transported to the island, which consists of rocks and trees and then being left there while the boat sails away. The text then explains which kind of criminal acts would land you in that place. It looks like a children’s cartoon but is very serious.
"They are unwanted in Denmark and they have to feel it," said Integration Minister Inger Stojberg on Facebook about her intention to 'banish' about 100 asylum seekers to the deserted island of Lindholm by 2021. The choice of the island is also special: until recently, cattle trials were done for contagious diseases.
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The plan, on which Danish Parliament will vote later this month, is so far-reaching that the UN Commissioner for Human Rights is now forced to take action. "Taking their freedom and isolating and stigmatizing them will make them even more vulnerable," says Michelle Bachelet.
She wants to have a meeting with the Danish government to make it clear to them that the island plan really is a bridge too far. The Danes refused.
Ms Stojberg, who has become world news for the umpteenth time because of the plan, does not want to know any restrictions: "If you are undesirable in society, you should not be a burden for the ordinary Danes."
The plan is strongly supported by the populist Danish People's Party (DF), which lends it’s the center-right government support. This party has been trying for years, together with Stojberg, to restrict immigration to Denmark with very strict and far-reaching measures.
If it is up to the government, the island will be disinfected and made suitable for living as from next year. For about a hundred years, pigs, cows and sheep were brought to Lindholm to be used for research into, among other things, swine flu.
The 'banishment' should make asylum seekers who went beyond the drugs and arms trade or who objected to their expulsion, make it clear that their future is no longer in Denmark.
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