• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Danish woman loses passport for fighting Isis

The Local · 26 Oct 2015, 08:59

Published: 26 Oct 2015 08:59 GMT+01:00

Joanna Palani stepped forward in the Danish national press last year to say that she had left Denmark to fight against Isis in Iraq. 
 
“I would rather die in battle than on the run,” the 22-year-old told Politiken newspaper. 
 
But over the weekend, while back in Denmark on what she thought would be a temporary break from fighting in Iraq, Palani wrote on Facebook that she has had her passport confiscated. 
 
“The police and PET [the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, ed.] have taken my passport and forbidden me from leaving Denmark. That puts me in the dilemma that I cannot continue my service down there as a soldier,” Palani, who came to Denmark as a refugee at age three, wrote. 
 
In addition to having her passport revoked, Palani also faces a one-year travel ban which took effect on September 29th. 
 
Palani has fought alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, which are supported by Western nations including Denmark. She wrote on Facebook that she can’t understand why Danish officials are punishing her under new so-called ‘foreign fighter’ rules that are meant to make it easier for authorities to stop Danes from fighting alongside terror groups. 
 
“How can I pose a threat to Denmark and other countries by being a soldier in an official army that Denmark trains and supports directly in the fight against the Islamic State?” she wrote.
 
Palani is being punished under the same law, passed in March, that has led to passport confiscations and travel bans of at least five other Danes, all of whom were suspected of fighting alongside Isis. In September, the law was also used for the first time to revoke the residence permit of a suspected foreign fighter. 
 
Before leaving Denmark, Palani acknowledged that she was running a legal risk. 
 
“I fear that if I go down there, if someone goes down there, and comes back – after fighting for the rights of the Kurds and for Kobane – I fear that the Danish authorities will come after them and it will have major consequences,” she said in a video interview with Politiken. 
Story continues below…
 
Still, she said that she felt the need to join the Peshmerga forces. 
 
“I as an individual can’t save the world – I’m not Superman. But I can contribute and if I know that something is very wrong and I know that I can make a small difference even for just one person, then I will do it,” she added. 
 
Justice Minister Søren Pind told Berlingske over the weekend that Denmark’s foreign fighter law is “very clear” but suggested that Palani could challenge the decision in court, which her lawyer has already announced plans to do.

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

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
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.

Denmark to get year’s ‘last summer weather’
Time for one last trip to the beach? Photo: Thomas Rousing/Flickr

Temperatures could reach as high as 30C by week’s end in what is likely summer’s final hurrah.

Copenhagen vehicle fires continue for third night
The Copenhagen car fires have drawn comparisons to a similar spate of incidents in Malmö, pictured here. Photo: Johan Nilsson/Scanpix

For the third night in a row, Copenhagen Police reported that vehicles in the city had been torched by unknown arsonists.

Two straight nights of car fires in Copenhagen
The Copenhagen incidents come after a spate of more than 70 car fires in Malmö, as pictured here. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT/Scanpix

Has Sweden's spate of car fires now spread to Denmark?

Photo gallery
IN PICS: Record crowd shows its Pride in Copenhagen
The parade started in Frederiksberg and ended at Copenhagen's City Hall Square. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Scanpix

The biggest ever Copenhagen Pride peaked in grand style over the weekend as the annual parade worked its way through the heart of the city.

Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Swimmer Pernille Blume's gold and bronze medals were two of the 15 won by Denmark. Photo: Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Scanpix

Only four countries in the world had a better per capita medal haul than Denmark.

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?
2,218
jobs available