Denmark deports Danish-born man for weapons offences

The Danish Supreme Court photographed in 2020. The court on Tuesday withheld the deportation of a Turkish man who was born and raised in Denmark, for weapons offences.
The Danish Supreme Court photographed in 2020. The court on Tuesday withheld the deportation of a Turkish man who was born and raised in Denmark, for weapons offences. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish Supreme Court (Højesteret) has ruled a lower court was not in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights when it last year sentenced a man who was born and raised in the country to deportation for weapons offences.

The man, a Turkish citizen who was born and raised in Denmark, was in June last year sentenced to three years and two months in prison for being in possession of a loaded semiautomatic pistol and two knives. He was also sentenced to deportation.

The Supreme Court, the highest court in Denmark, upheld on Tuesday the decision by the Østre Landsret regional high court, the former court said in a statement.

The high court decision was itself an increase to a sentence given by the Copenhagen City Court in 2019. The city court gave the man, who is in his late twenties, a warning that he could face deportation.

But Østre Landsret, citing earlier convictions for similar offences which resulted in conditional deportation, decided the man should be deported.

He had no spouse or children in Denmark and limited connection to the Danish labour market, the court said.

That, combined with a history of spending time in Turkey and his Turkish language proficiency justified meant that he could be deported from Denmark without breaching Denmark’s international obligations, the European Convention on Human Rights or a 1963 association agreement between Turkey and the EU (then the EEC).

These potential human rights breaches were the aspect of the decision addressed by the Supreme Court in its final judgement of the case.

The court decided that his “longer term prison sentence for serious weapons offences for the second time” combined with a level of connection to Turkey in addition to his citizenship are grounds to deport him without impeaching his human rights.

That is despite him having a “much stronger” connection to Denmark than to Turkey, and having family in the Nordic country, the court said.


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