About 50 protestors turned up to block the airport. Photo: Refugees Welcome to Denmark
The group Refugees Welcome to Denmark said it aimed to employ the passive resistance techniques made famous by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to prevent the refugees boarding the plane chartered by the Danish government to take them to Kabul.
“We will do everything in our power to ensure that they can not get into the airport. We are determined to sit and passively resist,” Søren Warburg, the group’s spokesman, told Politiken newspaper. “We are not going to move aside even when ordered to.”
He said he believed the deportations were “morally indefensible” as the ten failed asylum seekers risked death back in Afghanistan. He said he hoped that the protest would at least delay their return, and would also raise awareness of Denmark’s programme for returning failed asylum seekers.
The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party called on the police to deal firmly with the protesters, using force to remove them if necessary.
“There must be firm action against the rioters. They are acting directly against Danish interests, and therefore the Danish People's Party expected that they be forcibly removed,” Martin Henriksen, the party’s immigration spokesman told the Ekstra Bladet newspaper.
Refugees Welcome claims that one of the men facing deportation has a serious heart problems which cannot be treated in Afghanistan.
Warburg said the group had been informed about the planned expulsion by he refugees themselves, who are currently held in Ellebæk Prison awaiting deportation.
“Although the authorities have not announced anything officially, we are fairly confident that this is going to happen,” Warburg said.
Denmark’s National Police defended its role in deportations when contacted by the Politiken newspaper:
“It is the police's job to send out foreigners who do not leave voluntarily when immigration authorities have dealt with their case and concluded that they do not qualify for legal residence in Denmark”, it said in a statement.