Foreign criminals and rejected asylum seekers who the Danish government is not able to deport will be sent to live on a deserted island off the nation’s coastline, Finance Minister Kristian Jensen has announced.
Under plans agreed by the centre-right coalition government and the populist Danish People’s Party (DF), foreign nationals who have no right to be in Denmark and illegal immigrants with criminal records will be moved to Lindholm, a 17-acre island in Stege Bay situated more than a mile-and-a-half away from the mainland.
Jihadis who return from fighting in the Middle East and Africa will also be sent to Lindholm once the facility is established, which is expected to be in 2021 following a thorough cleaning and decontamination of everything on the island, which has been used for more than 90 years as a laboratory for infectious diseases dangerous to Danish agriculture, such as foot and mouth disease, rabies, and African swine fever.
Speaking to Danish news agency Ritzau, Mr Jensen stressed that the foreign nationals who are sent to the island “will not be imprisoned”, explaining: “There will be a ferry service to and from the island, but the ferry will not operate around the clock, and they must stay at the departure centre at night.
“There are more limits to how much you can move around when you are on a deserted island. You are in principle obliged to remain on the island. So we will have more control over where they are,” the finance minister said.
Udviste, kriminelle udlændinge har INTET at gøre i Danmark. Indtil vi kan komme af med dem, flytter vi dem nu ud på øen Lindholm i Stege Bugt, hvor de vil have pligt til at opholde sig på det nye udrejsecenter om natten. Og der vil være politi til stede døgnet rundt. Sådan!#dkpol pic.twitter.com/YybG4zkwQi
— Dansk Folkeparti (@DanskDf1995) November 30, 2018
The official DF Twitter account celebrated the news with a short animation which shows a man being dumped on an empty island, commenting that “illegal aliens with criminal records have NO REASON to be in Denmark”.
René Christensen, the party’s finance spokesman, said while DF would prefer to see criminal migrants put in jail, an isolated island facility is a good compromise as it sends the message that they have “no future” in the country.
“Of course we would rather have it so that rejected asylum seekers who have committed crimes were put in jail. But given we cannot, it is fortunate that there is a deserted island where we can place these people.
“This means that when they are there at night and in the evenings, they do not run around the local areas and cause insecurity,” he said.
Left-wing opposition politicians reacted with anger to the plan, with the leader of the environmentalist Alternative party, Uffe Elbaek, claiming the policy represented a “humanitarian collapse” in the country’s politics.
“The green government I want to lead would never force people on to a desert island. Never. Never. Never,” he said, adding: “Inhuman politics are creating a completely different Denmark from the Denmark I love.”
Two migrant centre employees accused https://t.co/Fyv0skxWHQ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 27, 2017