A former migration minister faces procecution because she ordered child brides to be removed from their older migrant adult husbands during the 2016 Europe Migrant Crisis, an act lawyers have claimed was illegal.
Inger Støjberg used the order in 2016 when she served as immigration and integration minister in the previous Danish government and separated 23 couples where one partner in the adult relationship was legally a child in Danish law.
Lawyers Anne Birgitte Gammelfjord and Jon Lauritzen presented a report to the Danish parliament, the Folketing, outlining the basis on which a case could be brought against the former minister, newspaper Berlingske reports.
The lawyers say that not only is there a basis for a trial against Ms Støjberg, but added that an indictment could lead to a conviction, as well. Støjberg has been under attack by activists over the child brides policy almost constantly since 2016, with parliamentary hearings over the policy to protect children in 2017 and an investigation in 2020, which stated that the former minister had “misled” parliament.
The matter will now go to a vote in the Folketing and according to Berlingske, three parties, the ruling Social Democrats, Venstre, and the Conservatives, remain undecided on how they will vote.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 11, 2016
The anti-mass migration Danish People’s Party (DF) said they were against impeaching the former minister along with the New Right, whose leader Pernille Vermund stated: “For us, it is absolutely crucial that not a single witness has said that the minister has ordered them to do something illegal.”
Five other parties, including the Social Liberal Party, Socialist People’s Party, and Liberal Alliance, have said they will move to impeach Støjberg.
Imam Oussama El-Saadi of the Aarhus mosque had criticised the former Danish government for separating the couples at the time the policy was active, saying in February 2016 that Denmark must respect migrant families, regardless of the age of brides.
“One should look at these cases from a different perspective. It is an extraordinary humanitarian situation, and I think you have to take care of these families. They’re married, and even if the man is twice as old as they have built a family. We have to accept that it is a different culture, and we can not destroy family life,” the imam had said.
Five Lessons the U.S. Can Learn from Europe About Stopping Child Marriages https://t.co/NIPWe1cNis
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 13, 2019
Since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, child brides have been a growing problem in several European countries.
In 2018, the Swedish government faced backlash just hours after releasing a booklet on child marriages labelled “Information for Those Who Are Married to a Child” and revoked the brochure.