Denmark to banish foreign criminals to remote island

Foreign criminals sentenced to deportation are to be banished to a remote island off the coast of Denmark, the country's government has announced.

Finance minister Kristian Jensen said the criminals will be detained at a facility on Lindholm, an uninhabited seven-hectare island in the province of Vordingborg.

The tough scheme was set up as part of an agreement between Denmark’s conservative coalition government and its anti-immigration ally, the Danish People’s Party (DF).

The DF's official Twitter account celebrated the announcement by publishing an animated cartoon which shows a dark-skinned man being dumped by a ship on a desert island.

A spokesman for the party said: "Foreign criminals have no reason to be in Denmark. Until we can get rid of them, we will move them to the island of Lindholm, where they will be obliged to stay at the new deportation centre at night.

"There will be police there around the clock."

The Lindholm facility will house rejected asylum seekers who have been convicted of crimes, as well as foreign citizens who do not have permission to stay but cannot be deported for legal reasons.

For example, some of those due to be detained at the facility are stateless, while others come from countries which do not have a readmission agreement with Denmark.

“They will not be imprisoned,” Mr Jensen told Danish news agency Ritzau.

“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. That way we will be better able to monitor where they are."

According to Danish news website The Local, opposition figures have strongly criticised the proposals, which one politician described as a "humanitarian collapse."

"The green government I want to lead would never force people on to a deserted island," said Uffe Elbæk, a prime ministerial candidate and leader of the Alternative party.

"Inhuman politics are creating a completely different Denmark to the Denmark I love," he added.

Morten Østergaard, leader of the Social Liberals, said the island facility was merely a "symbolic" gesture that would not tackle the root cause of the country's crime and immigration woes.

There are already two detention centres in Denmark for criminals and failed asylum seekers: Kærshovedgård and Sjælsmark.

Though nearly 87 per cent of the country's population is of Danish descent, the number of migrants and refugees from non-Western countries such as Afghanistan and Syria has risen sharply.

The Telegraph · by James Rothwell · December 11, 2018