Giving support to rejected Iraqi asylum-seekers gives them false hopes and makes them hostages, according to Deputy Chief of Police Hans-Viggo Jensen who is calling for politicians, organisations and civilians who support the Iraqis, to stop their campaigns.
“I actually think they should stop it and refrain from making the rejected asylum-seekers believe that they have a future in Denmark. They are selling a product they cannot deliver and are thus contributing to an escalation of the situation,” says Hans-Viggo Jensen who is responsible for the repatriation of 244 Iraqis whose asylum requests have been rejected.
The first six Iraqis were flown quietly out of the country on Thursday of this week. Among them was 35-year old Mufsal al-Alji whose father, mother and siblings have residence permits and live in the city of Vejle.
Sixty other rejected Iraqis have sought refuge in Brorson’s Church in Copenhagen, with help flooding in to them from well-meaning Danes offering all kinds of assistance from dental care and massage to psychological support. But the Danes should be careful, says Hans-Viggo Jensen. The support makes repatriation more unpleasant for the individual refugee.
“When you fight the decision, you take away their opportunity to help prepare their repatriation. Instead of knowing their departure date and packing their cases, everything will now be taking place on police terms,” says the deputy police chief adding that “a political majority in Parliament” supports the repatriations.
Jensen’s warning has caused organisations and politicians to accuse police management of choosing sides.
Save the Children Secretary-General Mimi Jacobsen says police interference in the debate is “a new variety of democracy”.
“I can say for sure that the deputy chief of police cannot gag us. It is great that he cares about these people, but if the NGOs did not raise their voices when Denmark is doing something wrong, then I don’t know what we are here for,” she says.