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4 Aug, 2023 11:16

Denmark strengthens border controls

Additional security measures will be imposed until August 10 to address “specific and current threats”
Denmark strengthens border controls

Denmark has temporarily strengthened border security following a recent Quran-burning demonstration in the EU country, its justice ministry said on Thursday.

“Authorities have today concluded that it is necessary at this time to increase the focus on who is entering Denmark, in order to respond to the specific and current threats,” it said, adding that the increased border security measures would remain in place until August 10.

A similar decision was made by Sweden earlier this week after several threats were made to burn holy books representing the Jewish and Muslim faiths in Stockholm.

The incidents involving the potential desecration of the Quran by activists in both Denmark and Sweden has caused widespread scorn in the Muslim world, prompting demands that authorities in both countries impose measures to outlaw the acts.

The “deeply offensive and reckless acts” do not represent the “values the Danish society is built on,” Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said last week.

He warned, however, that any measures designed to halt future demonstrations “must of course be done within the framework of the constitutionally protected freedom of expression and in a manner that does not change the fact that freedom of expression in Denmark has very broad scope.”

Stockholm has echoed Copenhagen’s stance on the burning of holy texts as both countries seek to balance concerns from religious groups with constitutionally protected rights to freedom of expression. “Everything that is legal is not appropriate,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Tuesday. “It can be lawful but still awful.”

Kristersson added that Sweden’s move to impose stricter border security had been done to prevent “people with very weak connections to Sweden” from entering the country in order to “commit crimes or to act in conflict with Swedish security interests.”

Several Muslim-majority countries have lodged official complaints with both Scandinavian countries over threats to burn the Quran, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in July approved the introduction of a resolution designed to address religious hatred and bigotry in response to the burnings.

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