STOCKHOLM: Denmark’s parliament on Thursday passed a controversial law allowing the government to strip dual-national suspected extremists of their citizenship to stop them from returning to Danish soil.
The law is primarily designed to target Danes fighting for the Daesh group in Syria and Iraq.
It enables the government to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals while they are abroad, even without a court ruling — which previously was a requirement.
After recent developments with Turkey’s offensive into Syria, the bill was rushed through parliament.
While a majority of parties in parliament backed the bill, it had also been the subject of much criticism, according to Danish news agency Ritzau.
Among other things critics questioned the fact that those affected would be notified electronically — potentially while they were in a conflict zone.
Before the law was passed, it was amended to allow for exemptions to the four-week period during which those affected could appeal the decision.
“It will ultimately be up to a judge to decide whether you can justify that you didn’t respond before the deadline,” Immigration and Integration Minister Mattias Tesfaye told broadcaster DR on Wednesday.
The law was also amended to include a so-called “sunset clause,” meaning it would expire in July 2021 unless parliament decided otherwise.
In early September, Denmark’s justice minister said there were 36 extremists who had traveled from Denmark to fight in the Middle East.
Among them, 10 had their residency permits withdrawn and 12 have been jailed.
In March, under the previous government, Denmark adopted a law depriving children born abroad to Danish extremists the right to citizenship.