• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Amnesty slams Denmark for refugee restrictions

The Local · 25 Feb 2015, 14:11

Published: 25 Feb 2015 14:11 GMT+01:00

In its annual report, the human rights organization Amnesty International gave Denmark mixed marks. 
 
Amnesty criticized Denmark for its failure to adequately address concerns over whether the US National Security Agency had carried out surveillance on Danish citizens. After American whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA was working with European intelligence agencies to spy on European data traffic, the Danish government was evasive when pushed to explain whether surveillance activities had been carried out in Denmark. 
 
“The government announced in response that it did ‘not find reason to believe’ that US intelligence agencies were carrying out ‘illegal surveillance activities targeting Denmark or Danish interests’,” Amnesty writes in its criticism. 
 
‘The government refused to investigate whether any such agencies had operated or were operating on Danish territory and to present an overview of the applicable laws clarifying the distinction between lawful and unlawful surveillance activities,” it continued. 
 
Snowden documents released by the Guardian in 2013 revealed that Denmark is one of the NSA’s ‘Nine Eyes’, an inner circle of countries that collaborate closely with the US intelligence agency. Internal governmental documents dug up by public broadcaster DR showed that the Americans put “significant pressure” on Denmark to change its laws to allow the surveillance of communication lest it fall out of the inner circle of information-sharing countries. 
 
Amnesty’s report on Denmark also criticized the government’s September decision to limit Syrian asylum-seekers to a new, one-year temporary resident permit and the subsequent decision to make it harder for refugees to bring their family members to Denmark
 
Amnesty added its voice to the chorus of criticism on those restrictions, which have already been slammed by the United Nations Refugee Agency, which warned that Denmark risks violating international laws
 
Amnesty did however praise Denmark for granting refugee status to LGBT asylum-seekers and for an October Eastern High Court decision that called into question that scheme known as tålt ophold, or ‘tolerated stay’, in which rejected asylum seekers are allowed to remain in the country due to dangerous conditions in their homelands. 
 
Story continues below…
The human rights group also gave Denmark qualified praise for moving forward on a system to identify individual police officers, but bemoaned the lack of “clarity on the visibility required of any such identification numbers”. 
 
it also encouraged the government to investigate why a “disproportionately high” number of rape cases don’t get prosecuted. 
 
As a whole, Amnesty International said that 2014 was “a devastating year” for human rights worldwide. The group also had plenty of specific criticism for Italy, Spain, France and Austria

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

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Denmark slammed for sending lesbians to Uganda

Denmark’s decision to deny asylum to three lesbians and send them back to their home country of Uganda has been criticized by an LGBT group.

Denmark's heat wave to continue into next week
Take a dip this weekend – you never know what the rest of summer will have in store! Photo: Erik Refner/Scanpix

The long-awaited summer warmth that finally returned to Denmark this week will be sticking around for awhile, meteorologists said on Friday.

More work makes you sick: Danish study

A study that followed Danish workers for 12 years found that when companies enjoy an uptick in business, their employees pay for it with their well-being.

Danish women have become more violent
Photo: Colourbox

Danish women are closing the gender gap when it comes to crime.

Photo gallery
Santas spread (summer) Christmas cheer in Denmark
No big deal, just a Santa taking a selfie while on a Copenhagen canal cruise in the middle of the summer. Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix

More than 100 jolly souls dressed up as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and elves just left Copenhagen – see all of the bearded action from their visit.

Brawl breaks out between Danish asylum centres
The fight started after a player disputed a foul call. Photo: sunnybright/Iris/Scanpix

Upwards of 100 minor asylum seekers were involved in a brawl described by a witness as a “blood frenzy”.

Five million Danish ID numbers sent to Chinese firm
The CPR numbers and health information of 5.3 million residents was sent to a Chinese company. Photo: Colourbox

If you lived in Denmark between 2010 and 2012, it’s almost certain that your personal identification number (CPR number) and health information ended up in the hands of a Chinese company.

Reading the runes: Denmark's tough citizenship test
One question focuses on the inscription on Harald Bluetooth's rune stone. Photo: Erik Christensen/WikiCommons

"A test like this should not define if one can become a Danish citizen or not. It's about other qualities, such as humour and humanity."

Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Pokémon Go players in Copenhagen. Photo: Emil Hougaard/Scanpix

A Pokémon Go player in Odense discovered more than he bargained for on Tuesday evening.

Foreign cops allowed to eavesdrop in Denmark
The Copenhagen City Court (pictured) and Eastern High Court have approved the surveillance, now the Supreme Court will weigh in. Photo: Colourbox

A Danish lawyer is taking his complaint to the Supreme Court over the decision to allow police in another country to bug a vehicle in Denmark.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
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
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
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
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
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’
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
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
2,299
jobs available