CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE: Countdown: Top stories of 2018
by WorldTribune Staff, December 21, 2018
Denmark’s government has approved a plan to send 100 foreign criminals, who have completed their sentences but can’t be deported, to a small island that is used as a laboratory and crematorium by scientists who are researching swine flu, rabies and other contagious diseases.
“If you are unwanted in Danish society, you should not be a nuisance to ordinary Danes,” immigration minister Inger Stojberg wrote in a Facebook post. “They are undesirable in Denmark and they must feel it!”
The criminals who will be sent to the island of Lindholm cannot be deported because they are at risk of torture or execution in their home countries, according to a Reuters report.
The three-hectare (seven-acre) island is southwest of Copenhagen.
Under the plan, the criminals can leave the island during the day but will have to report their whereabouts to authorities and return at night, the report said. They can be arrested if they don’t comply.
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet told journalists in Geneva: “I have serious concerns with this plan and we will monitor it and discuss it … with the government. We’ve seen the negative impact of such policies of isolation, and (they) should not replicate these policies. Because depriving them of their liberty, isolating them, and stigmatizing them will only increase their vulnerability.”
Denmark has been taking a tougher stance on immigration since large groups of mostly Middle Eastern asylum seekers arrived in 2015.
A “burqa ban” was introduced this summer, and legislation that would force legal immigrants to shake hands with officials at their naturalization ceremony is currently making its way through parliament. Some Muslims had refused to shake hands with officials of the opposite sex, prompting a backlash from conservative politicians.
Asylum applications in Denmark have dropped by 84 percent between 2015 and 2018. The country is home to some 500,000 non-western immigrants, mostly hailing from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Somalia.