Denmark strips citizenship from man under new anti-jihadist law

The Danish government has withdrawn the citizenship of a man who is wanted for suspected terrorism, applying a hotly-debated new law.

Denmark strips citizenship from man under new anti-jihadist law
Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The man's lawyer, Mette Grith Stage, confirmed to newspaper Berlingske that his citizenship had been revoked.

A 25-year-old Danish-Turkish citizen who grew up in greater Copenhagen, the man is wanted by the Danish police for suspected terrorism, Berlingske reports. A judge has previously issued an arrest warrant against him.

A recently-passed law enables Denmark’s immigration minister to revoke the passports of citizens who have fought for militant groups abroad. Individuals can appeal against the decision through the courts.

The law enables the government to strip passports and rights from Danes who have, for example, fought for militant group Islamic State (Isis) in Syria.


Stage told Berlingske that she received notification of the ministry decision on Monday afternoon and subsequently informed her client.

In comments to Ritzau, she described her colleague as being “tired” of the administrative decision.

The lawyer will now appeal the decision at Copenhagen District Court.

In legal terms, the situation is “strange”, Stage said to Ritzau.

Withdrawing the man's Danish citizenship, would place him outside of the responsibility of the Danish authorities for his actions in other countries.

But authorities also believe that he should be prosecuted in Denmark, given that he has, at the request of state prosecutors, already been remanded in custody in absentia by a judge.

Stage is therefore questioning whether prosecution authorities and the police will shelve the criminal case, since Denmark cannot prosecute a Turkish citizen for joining Isis.

“I now want to know if the prosecution authority will give up the case,” Stage said to Ritzau.

Minister for Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye last week confirmed that he was looking into four cases involving the withdrawal of passports from jihadists.

According to the new law, the minister has the final decision on whether to withdraw citizenship in such cases.

‘Administrative’ withdrawal of citizenship means that the decision is made without a judge.

READ ALSO: What makes someone leave Denmark to fight as an Islamist militant?

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


QUIZ: Can you pass the 2022 Danish citizenship test?

If you want to become a Danish citizen, you'll have to prove your knowledge of the country's culture, history, politics and more by passing a citizenship test. Can you pass our quiz version?

QUIZ: Can you pass the 2022 Danish citizenship test?

A condition of getting Danish citizenship is to demonstrate knowledge of Danish society, culture and history by passing a citizenship test (indfødsretsprøve).

In April 2021, the previous version of the citizenship test, which consisted of 40 multiple choice questions, was supplemented with five extra questions about “Danish values” such as equality, freedom of speech and the relation between legislation and religion. 

The pass mark is 36/45 and at least four of the five Danish values questions must be answered correctly. 

Children under 12, Swedish and Norwegian citizens, and people from the Danish minority in German region Schleswig-Holstein do not need to take the citizenship test.

READ ALSO: How do Denmark’s citizenship rules compare to Sweden and Norway?

While there are 45 questions (and they’re in Danish) in the real test, we’ve compiled 15 for you to have a go at answering. They are all based on the actual test from November 2022.

The pass mark on the real test is 36/45, with at least 4 of the 5 “values” questions (the last 5 questions in the test) correctly answered. In our version, the last 3 questions are taken from the Danish values section of the real test.

The 45 questions in the real citizenship test cover a broader range of topics and styles than those covered here, so please don’t take our quiz as any certain measure of your ability to pass the real thing.