Denmark strips citizenship from man under new anti-jihadist law

Denmark strips citizenship from man under new anti-jihadist law
Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish government has withdrawn the citizenship of a man who is wanted for suspected terrorism, applying a hotly-debated new law.

The man's lawyer, Mette Grith Stage, confirmed to newspaper Berlingske that his citizenship had been revoked.

A 25-year-old Danish-Turkish citizen who grew up in greater Copenhagen, the man is wanted by the Danish police for suspected terrorism, Berlingske reports. A judge has previously issued an arrest warrant against him.

A recently-passed law enables Denmark’s immigration minister to revoke the passports of citizens who have fought for militant groups abroad. Individuals can appeal against the decision through the courts.

The law enables the government to strip passports and rights from Danes who have, for example, fought for militant group Islamic State (Isis) in Syria.

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Stage told Berlingske that she received notification of the ministry decision on Monday afternoon and subsequently informed her client.

In comments to Ritzau, she described her colleague as being “tired” of the administrative decision.

The lawyer will now appeal the decision at Copenhagen District Court.

In legal terms, the situation is “strange”, Stage said to Ritzau.

Withdrawing the man's Danish citizenship, would place him outside of the responsibility of the Danish authorities for his actions in other countries.

But authorities also believe that he should be prosecuted in Denmark, given that he has, at the request of state prosecutors, already been remanded in custody in absentia by a judge.

Stage is therefore questioning whether prosecution authorities and the police will shelve the criminal case, since Denmark cannot prosecute a Turkish citizen for joining Isis.

“I now want to know if the prosecution authority will give up the case,” Stage said to Ritzau.

Minister for Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye last week confirmed that he was looking into four cases involving the withdrawal of passports from jihadists.

According to the new law, the minister has the final decision on whether to withdraw citizenship in such cases.

‘Administrative’ withdrawal of citizenship means that the decision is made without a judge.

READ ALSO: What makes someone leave Denmark to fight as an Islamist militant?


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