MPs call for explanation over confidential Denmark-Somalia deal after extortion allegation

The Local Denmark
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MPs call for explanation over confidential Denmark-Somalia deal after extortion allegation
Minister for Immigration and Integration Inger Støjberg. Photo: Bax Lindhardt/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark has an undisclosed agreement with Somalia to return individuals to the Northeast African country, according to reports.


The agreement provides for up to 12 people to be returned to Somalia by Denmark annually, Politiken reported last year, but it has not been officially confirmed and details of individual cases have not been disclosed.

But one of the deportations that may have been carried out under the arrangement was reported by TV2 on Wednesday.

A woman from the Vollsmose neighbourhood in Odense told TV2 that she had been subject to attempted extortion by one or more immigration officers in Somalia over the deportation of her son from Denmark.

The woman, Saynab Iman Shikhow, is the mother of a man who was deported after being convicted for theft and selling drugs.

She said that she had received threatening telephone calls from men in Somalia over the deportation, in which she was told her son would be beheaded if she did not pay 10,000 dollars.

“These men that are threatening me now… If he is sent back to them it will be all over for him,” she told TV2.

After being initially deported in January, he is reported to have been rejected by authorities in Somalia, who are said to have been unconvinced he was a national of the African country. He was then sent back to Denmark.

Shikhow said that she received the threatening calls while her son was subsequently in prison in Denmark, where he now awaits a second deportation.

Opposition party the Social Democrats said clarification was needed over the issue.

“I think this sounds serious. Nobody should receive threats in a situation like this, so we plan to contact Inger Støjberg and ask for a confidential explanation of what is going on with this case,” the party’s spokesperson for immigration issues Mattias Tesfaye told TV2.

The Ministry of Immigration and Integration stated via a written message that the agreement between Denmark and Somalia was confidential and that no further comment would be given.

“Denmark has, over an extended period, worked towards establishing a partnership with Somalian authorities regarding the deportation of Somalian citizens from Denmark to Somalia. This work is confidential at the request of Somalia, so the ministry is unable to comment further,” the ministry wrote to TV2.

The media reports it has obtained a document stating that an arrangement between the two countries is in effect.

The document notes that there is a “verbal agreement between the Somalian authorities and the Danish authorities that has resulted in a specific plan of action for compulsory deportations of Somalian citizens without legal permission to reside in Denmark,” TV2 writes.

An MP from a second party, the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), has called for more transparency over the arrangement.

“This asks fundamental questions about the arrangement Denmark has with Somalia. Is this a functional Somalian government or a criminal network trying to extort and exploit deported individuals?”, MP Nikolaj Villumsen said.

TV2 reports it was unable to reach Støjberg for comment over the issue.




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