Parliament to vote down proposal to ban circumcision of young boys
Parliament will today discuss a proposal to ban the circumcision of healthy boys under the age of 18. The proposal has reached lawmakers after a so-called borgerforslag (citizens’ petition) reached the threshold 50,000 signatures.
A majority of parties have already stated they will vote against the proposal, allowing healthy boys under the age of 18 to be circumcised for religious reasons, as is the practice in both Judaism and Islam.
“What is most important for us is that Jews should be able to live their lives in Denmark. We think we have a historic obligation to ensure that happens,” justice minister Nick Hækkerup told broadcaster DR. The largest opposition party, the Liberals, is also opposed to a law change.
An Epinion poll showed that 73 percent of the Danish public would support such a ban, DR writes.
Sources used in government’s Damascus report speak out against conclusion
Denmark is increasingly in the spotlight over its decision, as the only country in the world, to revoke the status of refugees from Damascus on the grounds that the Syrian capital and surrounding area are ‘safe’ for return. International media including CNN, the New York Times and the Guardian have all recently reported on the situation. You can read our coverage in the articles linked below.
- ‘My mother risks going to jail’: Why is Denmark sending refugees back to Syria?
- Denmark criticised over plan to repatriate Syrians to ‘safe’ Damascus
Denmark’s judgement that Damascus and the surrounding area are safe for return is, however, not based on information from the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR or the EU, but a October 2020 report produced under the auspices of the Danish Immigration Service.
As we previously reported, the assessment in the Danish report is “based on information from written sources as well as information obtained through Skype meetings and email correspondences” and not on a physical visit to the area.
A number of sources involved in the report have now spoken out to distance themselves from it and have said they “condemn” the government’s decision, newspaper BT writes.
The eight individuals and organisations – researchers, analysts and experts on the area — believe the content of the report is “incomplete and misleading”, according to BT.
Street festival cancelled
In an ominous sign for those looking forward to a summer of events, concerts and festivals, the Distortion street party, which usually takes place in Copenhagen, has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to Covid-19.
Limits on public assembly and logistic difficulties in complying with corona passport rules – given the event takes place on public streets – were cited as the reasons for the cancellation in a statement issued by organisers.
“It feels unreal to cancel two years in a row. We are very sad on behalf of our public, artists and partners. We’ll try to have alternative open events in the city space during the summer, but who knows how it will turn out,” founder and director Thomas Fleurquin said in the statement.