Asylum seekers commonly do not tell the truth about their situation when applying o be granted asylum in Denmark.
A newly-released review of 500 asylum applications rejected by the Danish Refugee Appeals Board (Flygningenævnet) shows that over half of these contained partial or complete falsehoods, reports broadcaster TV2.
“Some people have stories that do not have a basis in reality. The explanations just don't hold up,” Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingeservice) vice director Anders Dorph told TV2.
Of 2,400 asylum applications received during the last three months of 2016, around half were rejected, according to news agency Ritzau. A ‘fair amount' of these had issues with credibility, Dorph said.
“It's not unusual that we hear stories about their lives being in danger in the country they come from. That is what this is all about – whether or not someone is persecuted, so it is a very ordinary story,” Dorph told TV2.
But when case officers ask for more detailed information on why the applicant's life is in danger, and who is endangering them, answers do not add up, he said.
The Danish Immigration Service carries out long interviews with thorough cross examination.
Dorph told TV2 that it was his impression that many asylum seekers follow what they see as as a formula for correct answers when claiming asylum.
“You can say that a pattern emerges,” he said.
The immigration service vice director said that he could not be certain that all false stories had been exposed, and that asylum seekers were given the benefit of the doubt, should any exist.
The primary concern is to ascertain whether an individual is under threat, he said.