Attempted deportation turns violent at rejected asylum-seekers centre

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Woman suffers panic attack and young children caught up in violence in incident at Udrejsecenter Sjælsmark

6th March 2019

This morning at Udrejsecenter Sjælsmark, the north Zealand centre for rejected asylum-seekers, the police tried to forcibly move a family of four out of the premises as part of a deportation.

A group of failed asylum-seekers, including children, tried to hinder the deportation of the family, which led to several police officers reportedly pushing and kicking some of those present – and even using pepper spray.

Several videos of the incident, which are quickly going viral, show some of the violence as well as the mother of the Iranian family suffering a panic attack and fainting.

The deportation to Iran, which as a rule does not normally accept forced deportations, has now been halted because the mother has been admitted to hospital.

A hot potato (not broccoli)
Udrejsecenter Sjælsmark often features in the news due to the extreme conditions the inhabitants live under.

The inhabitants do not have access to kitchen facilities and are not allowed to make their own food. A month ago a video went viral when a six-year-old was denied broccoli at the cafeteria.

Child neglect
Amnesty International has openly criticised the conditions at the centre, accusing the Danish state of being fully aware that children are often harshly treated to put pressure on the family to willingly leave the country.

Between January 1 and December last year, the authorities received 51 notifications from personnel at Sjælsmark who were concerned about the children’s well-being and development.

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