“Lorte-regering” the sign said being held by two smiling Danes when I entered the Parliament Square together with two New Times members on our way to interview one of the politicians behind the new asylum agreement.
“What does it say?” Larry asked. He is an asylum seeker from Kenya. I explained to him that it said “Shitty Government” and that people were protesting against the government’s controversial freedom of information act (offentlighedslov) proposal, which many say will reduce transparency and limit access to governmental information.
He laughed. “Wow. They would have been beaten badly by the police in my country!”
Negar, our other team member from Iran, joined his surprise. “They would have been taken away never to be seen again in my country”, she said and smiled in astonishment.
Sometimes it is easy to forget what a privilege it is to be born in Denmark. There are so many things we take for granted, which would mean the death penalty other places.
Another law recently made by the politicians, did not attract as much noise, but is extremely important for Danish asylum seekers. It is the long anticipated new asylum agreement. The agreement not only allows asylum seekers to work and live outside the centers, but also includes an investment of 15 million kroner which should cut the processing time for the asylum seekers’ case by a whopping 50%.
One of the big questions now among the asylum seekers is how to find a job in a country where they do not know the language and the number of jobs are limited.
Almost simultaneously with the introduction of new legislation the Danish Red Cross is implementing a big restructuring program which includes the sad closing of the Red Cross School in Copenhagen. An asylum seeker has asked the head of the Red Cross asylum department, Anne La Cour, for the reasons behind this in an open letter. Read his letter – and Anne La Cour’s reply, in this magazine.
This magazine also boasts a great photo reportage showing the daily life in the asylum center in Avnstrup, interesting questions for the magazine’s lawyer and much more.