Denmark plans to banish unwanted migrants to remote island
The plan, which must still be approved by the parliament, was adopted by the center-right government and right-wing Danish People's Party (DPP) on Friday. According to a government statement, those migrants whose applications have been rejected or who has a criminal record will be sent to Lindholm, a small island in the southeast of the country which has served as research center for animals.
The statement also said a "return center" with a capacity of 100 residents is expected be used on Lindholm island in the second half of 2021. Migrants are free to leave the island via a ferry service, but they must live at the center and report on a daily basis.
"We are doing what we believe is in the best interest of Danes, and if it comes down to choosing whose interest to protect - then we will take care of our own first," said Martin Henriksen, DPP immigration spokesperson. "But it will, of course, be up to the Danish government to determine what lies within the conventions."
However, the decision has caused concern in human rights activists.
"We demand that the government and the Danish People's Party stop their plans and improve the conditions for all rejected asylum-seekers in Denmark," said Steen D. Hartmann of the online movement "Stop Diskrimination."
Friendly Neighbors, an organization that works for refugees, has announced a demonstration against the policy in Copenhagen on Dec. 10.
Earlier this year, Danish government has introduced a new law against the wearing of Islamic veils. ■