Kosovo ratifies deal on renting prison cells to Denmark

AFP - [email protected]
Kosovo ratifies deal on renting prison cells to Denmark
Vestre Prison in Copenhagen. Photo: Kriminalforsorgen

Legislators in Kosovo on Thursday ratified an agreement signed with Denmark to rent the Scandinavian country 300 prison cells to help ease overcrowding in the kingdom's penitentiaries.


Under the deal Kosovo will be paid around 200 million euros ($220 million) over the next decade, with the funds helping improve the government's correctional institutions and finance renewable energy projects.

Prisoners convicted of terrorism and war crimes in Denmark along with those diagnosed with mental illness will not be sent to Kosovo, according to the agreement.

"Eighty six have supported it, seven against and there were no abstentions, and one deputy did not participate in the vote at all", said parliamentary speaker Glauk Konjufca following the vote in the 120-strong parliament.

Denmark's justice ministry also confirmed the approval of the agreement.

"This is crucial for us to secure more Danish prison places and will help bring our hard-pressed prison system back into balance," said Denmark's justice minister Peter Hummelgaard in a statement.

The future inmates will be sent to a prison in Gjilan town -- about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Kosovo’s capital Pristina.

The foreign prisoners will be deported after serving their sentence.


The prison population in Denmark surged by nearly 20 percent since 2015 and reached more than 4,000 people by the start of 2021 -- putting the occupation rate above 100 percent, according to official data.

During the same period, the number of guards fell by 18 percent.

Previously Norway and Belgium have rented prison cells in the Netherlands.



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