Danish far-right tells refugees to go home to 'sunny Syria'

Danish far-right tells refugees to go home to 'sunny Syria'
The poster campaign by the extreme-right group Generation Identity comes as Denmark threatens to deport dozens of refugees to Syria.
3 min read
17 April, 2021
Around 40,000 Syrians currently live in Denmark [Getty]
A Danish far-right group erected posters instructing refugees to "return home to sunny Syria" amid government plans to deport dozens of Syrians.

The local branch of Generation Identity, an extreme-right European nationalist group, put the posters up across the capital Copenhagen last week.

"Good news," the posters read against a background of a sandy beach. "You can now return home to sunny Syria. Your country needs you." 

The images also feature the Syrian regime flag embedded in a pair of sunglasses.

The far-right group claims Syria has "long been safe enough for Syrian migrants to return home".

Alongside its poster campaign, Generation Identity's Danish branch is also running a bizarre competition for Syrian refugees.

"There is a chance that a lucky Syrian can win a ticket to the home country, free of charge! In just a few hours, you can change scenarios from the cold north to sunny Syria, where you can roll up your sleeves and start rebuilding the country," the group said in a statement earlier this month.

Read more: Syria Insight: Fears for Syrian refugees in Denmark after government classifies Damascus as 'safe area'

Generation Identity states any Syrian aged over 18 who promises they will never come back to Denmark is eligible to apply.

The government has also attempted to persuade Syrians to voluntarily return, offering funding of around $30,000 per person.

Denmark says parts of Syria are safe for the return of refugees, a claim widely disputed by Syrian activists and refugee advocates who say returning exiles risk arbitrary arrest, torture and even death.

Danish authorities have refused to renew the residence permits of at least 189 Syrians since last summer.

The residency status of another 500 people originally from Damascus and surrounding areas are currently under review.

The Scandinavian nation is the first country in Europe to threaten Syrian refugees with deportation.

The new policy primarily affects women and the elderly, according to The Guardian, as Denmark recognises most men are at risk of conscription if deported to Syria.

The decision has been condemned by rights groups including the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and the country's own Danish Refugee Council.

There are around 40,000 Syrians living in Denmark, according to official statistics. About 5,000 of those are children born to Syrians while in the country.

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