Danish minister forced to flee angry migrant mob
The Danish Immigration Minister, Inger Støjberg was forced to flee a migrant deportation centre last week, after being mobbed by angry migrants.
Published: November 7, 2017, 6:30 am
Støjberg had been visiting the migrant centre as part of a documentary series for Danish broadcaster and had been speaking to a family whose asylum application had been rejected. During the conversation, other residents wanting to talk to her mobbed the politician.
The episode took place at Udrejsecenter Sjælsmark north of Copenhagen. She was recording with Denmark’s Radio to record a program together with Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen. The minister gave the rolling cameras at the Outreach Center her version of the tumult at the center’s exit.
“There was a rather aggressive mood, I think so you can see and listen to the tape. It was relatively violent,” Støjberg said.
The integration minister was evacuated from the center after a group of some 40 people appeared agitated. “As we came for the visit, the mood was excited. Residents begin to gather around Støjberg,” said a journalist with DR News, Martin Torpe, who was present during the visit.
The minister’s bodyguards were forced to intervene to save her from the mob. They quickly extracted the minister and bundled her into the back of her car as the angry shouting migrants tried to physically assault her.
One woman, as seen in a video from the scene, tried to throw herself in front of the vehicle as it was leaving. She sustained no injuries.
Speaking after the incident, Støjberg added: “Had it not been for the bodyguards and the ministerial driver, I would not have stood here now, that’s for sure. So I can only send them a big thank you.
A journalist chided the minister for a lack of compassion. “It’s desperate people who want to contact you. Can you understand their reaction?”
Støjberg dismissed the claim that she was mobbed by “desperate people” however. “I can easily understand that you would rather be in Denmark than, for example, Iraq. But the thing is that it is people who are not persecuted,” she explained. “They have chosen not to cooperate with the authorities…it’s hard to blame (me) for this. I’m there to talk with them. So, it’s honestly something extraordinary to be attacked.”
Later in the day, Støjberg participated in a election event in Randers together with the urban mayoral candidate, Claus Omann Jensen. However, the event was delayed due to the violent episode at Sjælsmark.
She said she does not know what triggered the episode. At her meeting she had followed the instructions from her three bodyguards.
According to the Danish daily Nyheder, the rejected asylum seekers “misunderstood the minister’s visit”, believing that the family the minister spoke with would be helped while all the others would not receive assistance.
On April 19, 2015, Inger Støjberg came close to being attacked at a petrol station near the Storebæltsbroen. She was surrounded by three to four young men, who swore at her verbally and displayed threatening behavior towards her during several minutes.
When Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt spoke at Tangkrogen in Aarhus on May 1st 2013, she was sprayed with a water gun. The 23-year-old man in Aarhus arrested for the prank was sentenced to 40 days in prison for the act.
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