• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Denmark tightens restrictions on Eritreans

The Local · 26 Nov 2014, 11:15

Published: 26 Nov 2014 11:15 GMT+01:00

A massive increase in refugees from Eritrea earlier this year led Denmark to put a halt to asylum for Eritreans until the Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen) could evaluate the reason for the sharp uptick. 
 
The results of the Immigration Service’s investigation have now been delivered to the Justice Ministry and Eritreans will once again be eligible for asylum in Denmark – but under much tougher criteria than before. 
 
The Justice Ministry said in a press release on Tuesday that Eritreans will no longer be automatically granted asylum if they came to Denmark to flee their home country’s authoritarian rule and compulsory military service. 
 
Instead, Eritreans will need to show that they face a personal threat in order to be granted asylum in Denmark. 
 
 
The UN reported in 2013 that Eritreans subject to conscription into national service risked retribution and even possible death if they fled the country. But the Immigration Service’s three-week fact finding mission concluded that an alleged shoot-to-kill policy targeting Eritreans who illegally leave the country “might have been party true previously but … people are no longer being shot at just because they try to cross the border into Ethiopia”. 
 
Immigration Service also said that international reports of up to 10,000 political prisoners in Eritrea “is difficult to harmonize with the reality on the ground”. 
 
The extensive fact finding report indicates that the human rights situation in Eritrea may not be as bad as rumoured, thus Denmark will no longer give blanket asylum to Eritreans. 
 
“The report gives new and relevant information on the asylum situation in relation to Eritrea. The report shows that there was a need for updated information and that it was necessary for Immigration Service to carry out a fact finding mission,” Justice Minister Mette Frederiksen said. 
 
Frederiksen wouldn’t comment directly on what would happen to the some 1,400 Eritreans who have been waiting in Danish asylum centres for their cases to be processed. 
 
Story continues below…
“As justice minister, I don’t have the competence to rule on concrete asylum cases. At the end of the day it will be Flygtningenævnet [the Danish Refugee Appeals Board, ed.] that will apply the meaning of this new information on Eritrea to the actual asylum cases,” Frederiksen said. 
 
Throughout the first quarter of 2014, roughly ten Eritrean asylum seekers arrived in Denmark each month. In July, that number jumped to 510, leading the then justice minister, Karen Hækkerup, to put asylum for Eritreans on hold pending the Immigration Service’s findings. 
 
According to Politiken, Eritreans make up the second-largest group of refugees in Denmark this year behind Syrians. 
 
The Danish Immigration Service's fact finding report on Eritrea is available here (in English)

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Roskilde Festival 2016
From Russia with love: Snowden addresses Roskilde
Snowden's broadcast address was watched by a large and enthusiastic crowd. Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

Broadcast live from Moscow, whistleblower Edward Snowden was greeted like a rock star by the festival crowd.

Roskilde Festival 2016
The Local's not-quite-live Roskilde 2016 blog
The Sunday night party at Ghettoblaster. Photo: Bobby Anwar

We'll be on hand all week as a field in Roskilde is temporarily turned in to the fourth largest city in Denmark.

Cage eggs soon to be a thing of the past in Denmark
Cage eggs are laid by hens that never see the light of day. Photo: Vi Ælsker Æg

Denmark’s largest retail company will stop selling eggs laid by cage chickens.

Brexit gives Danes new record cheap home loans
Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

With Brexit having created instability on the global financial markets, there has never been a better time to take out a home loan in Denmark.

Roskilde Festival 2016
Finding 'the Orange Feeling' in Roskilde's campgrounds
The camping grounds provide a good mix of planned as well and spontaneous parties. Photo: Bobby Anwar

The main music might not start until Wednesday, but for many guests the campground pre-parties are what Roskilde is all about.

Danish health agency plans for a smoke-free Denmark

Health authorities recommend higher tobacco prices, plain packaging and a national strategy for phasing out smoking.

Danes want legal cannabis, but govt vows crackdown
Police have torn down Pusher Street cannabis stalls three times since June 17th. Each time, they are rebuilt. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix

A majority of Danes support legalizing cannabis at the same time the government is preparing new hardline initatives.

Danish 'devil of death' nurse gets life for killing patients
Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Scanpix

A Danish nurse, dubbed a "devil of death" by prosecutors, was on Friday sentenced to life in prison for murdering three patients and trying to kill a fourth.

Brexit
Brits in Denmark left shocked and concerned by Brexit
British expats in Denmark were left feeling like these supporters of the 'Stronger In' campaign who watched the referendum result in London early on Friday. Photo: Rob Stothard/AFP/Scanpix

The Local spoke with a handful of British expats living in Denmark on Friday and not a single one was happy about the referendum result.

Roskilde Festival 2016
8 key questions ahead of this year’s Roskilde Festival
It's that time again! Roskilde begins on Saturday. Photo: Tobias Nicolai/Roskilde Festival

Denmark's biggest party is about to kick off – here's what we'll be keeping our eyes on as The Local once again heads to Roskilde.

Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
National
Denmark scraps green card but spares current holders
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
2,265
jobs available