The ‘Iron Lady’ of Scandinavian politics, Danish Integration Minister Ms Inger Stojberg, is at it again. Human rights campaigners have already complained about the latest two laws she has passed through the Danish parliament.
Firstly, any new immigrant in Denmark who wants to receive citizenship will have to shake the hand of the public servant issuing the documents (something which devout Muslims sometimes refuse if the servant is a woman) and secondly, criminal immigrants will be locked up in an island used previously for animal testing.
Whoever wants to become a Danish citizen in the future will have to seal the deal with a handshake. A bill on this issue has been approved in the Danish parliament. According to critics, the law is aimed at Muslims, who sometimes refuse to give a hand to someone of the opposite sex.
The Danish parliament approved a bill that would allow immigrants to sign an agreement declaring that they will comply with Danish law. As a seal of their citizenship, they will have to shake hands with the mayor of the municipality where they are. Otherwise, there is no question of citizenship for that person. "With this symbolic act the applicant shows his respect for the Danish society,” it is stated in the new law.
Related coverage: Denmark – Criminal Immigrants Banned To Remote Animal-Test Island
The driving force behind the bill was once again the Minister of Integration Ms Inger Stojberg, who commented "In Denmark we greet each other with a handshake. This is how we show respect for each other in this country."
The new law immediately endured severe criticism. Mr Søren Søndergaard of the leftwing Unity Party called the law hypocritical: "The question is whether people behave well, and a handshake does not guarantee that", he said.
Holding criminal immigrants on island
The Danish parliament has also approved a highly controversial plan to detain foreign criminals who cannot be extradited on a deserted island previously used for animal testing.
"They are undesirable in Denmark and they have to feel it," said Integration Minister Inger Stojberg on Facebook. The choice of the island is special as until recently cattle with contagious diseases was tested there. The boat transporting animals to the island, which would now be used to transport people, is therefore called ‘Virus.’
The Danish government plans to ship more than 100 criminals to the Lindholm island.
It would only concern convicted rapists and murderers. Under Danish law and because of possible human rights abuse, criminals who risk torture or persecution may not be returned to their home country.
The plan is however so far-reaching that the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Michelle Bachelet, is now forced to take action. "Taking their freedom and isolating and stigmatizing them will make them even more vulnerable," she says. The UN plans to meet with the Danish government soon to emphasize that the island plan is going too far.
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