• 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
Danish politicians cleared on charge of housing migrants
Maria Sloth (right) and Anne Hegelund hug a supporter before their court appearance earlier this month. Photo: Axel Schutt/Scanpix

The women had been charged with violating immigration laws by giving two African men a place to stay for the night.

Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Jesper Rønow Simonsen was at the helm as Skat was defrauded for billions and forced to scrap its debt collection system. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix

The director general of Skat has been removed from his job with immediate effect as the agency tries to clean up at least a 12 billion kroner mess.

Danish city’s proposed burqa ban fails
The politician who proposed the ban said he had heard from many concerned residents. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

A proposal to bar public workers from wearing burqas and niqabs was dropped after a deadlocked vote.

Denmark offers help to earthquake-hit Italy
A firefighter works in the night at a collapsed house following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy. Photo: STEFANO RELLANDINI/Scanpix

The Danish government is willing to assist Italy in the rescue and reconstruction process as the country attempts to recover from Wednesday's deadly earthquake.

21-year-old man arrested for Copenhagen car fires
At least 22 cars and three mopeds were burnt. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

Amager resident arrested after more than 20 cars were torched over the weekend.

Denmark aims for ‘first smoke-free generation'
Photo: Kyrre Lien/Scanpix

The Danish government on Wednesday released the details of what it called a “historic" plan to combat cancer.

Denmark takes small step towards medicinal cannabis
A cannabis plant. Photo: Coleen Whitfield/Flickr

A trial programme gets the okay in southern Denmark.

Danish police chase clues in motorway ‘stone murder’ case
Police technicians look for clues on the overpass. Photo: Kim Rune/Scanpix

Local residents and businesses have offered to put up rewards for information.

Danish MPs to visit Australia's Nauru migrant camp
Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen said she'd use the trip as a fact-finding mission on Australia's "grotesque" system. Photo: MARIE HALD/Scanpix

One lawmaker vows to "ask some of the questions that the Australian government is preventing journalists from asking."

Danish MP: EU a bigger threat than Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Crimean officials last week in a hand-out photo from the Kremlin. Photo: Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolsk/Scanpix

Danish People’s Party MP Marie Krarup is under fire for saying that the EU is “without a doubt” a bigger threat to Denmark than Russia.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
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
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?
2,221
jobs available