Raids without warrants: Denmark unveils tough new anti-jihadist proposals

The government is to work for tough new laws on citizens convicted of foreign militant activity, but is likely to be challenged by parties to its left.

Raids without warrants: Denmark unveils tough new anti-jihadist proposals
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen speaks to police officers during a visit to Aalborg on Thursday. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, along with Minister of Justice Nick Hækkerup and Minister for Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye, were on Thursday scheduled to present the government's proposals to introduce stricter rules against what it terms “foreign fighters” (fremmedkrigere).

According to reports in Danish media on Thursday, those proposals include a ban on entering Denmark as well as a contact ban for persons convicted of terrorism.

Additionally, the government will be able to give full custody to the non-convicted parent in cases where a parent is convicted as a foreign militant.

This means that, should the proposals become law, police will be able to enter homes without a warrant in order to check compliance with bans against contacting specified individuals.


Kristian Hegaard, spokesperson for justice with the Social Liberal party, a parliamentary ally of the governing Social Democrats, criticized the proposal prior to its official presentation on Thursday.

“This has no place in a country which has the rule of law. Coercive interventions must be approved by a judge based on suspicions,” Hegaard said.

“I am concerned about whether this is a trend we are going to see for more types of crime, where police will be able enter people’s homes without a court warrant,” he continued.

“We must maintain the values we associate with the rule of law. Without exception,” he also said.

The proposal to remove custody from one or both parents convicted of fighting for foreign militant groups has also been criticized by the left.

According to the new proposals, such convictions will allow authorities to give sole custody of children to the non-convicted parent. If both parents are convicted, the child or children will be placed into foster care.

Pernille Skipper, lead political spokesperson with the Red Green Alliance, called this approach wrong.

“If a person is convicted of a serious crime – whether that is foreign militancy or a violent break-in – there is a mechanism for the municipality or experts to assess whether their children are doing okay at home,” Skipper said.

“But to say that a conviction means an automatic forced removal of children from their parents – that has no place in a democratic society,” she said.

Last year, parliament passed a highly-debated, expedited law which enables the immigration minister to revoke without legal process the passports of citizens who have fought for militant groups abroad. Individuals can appeal against the decision through the courts.

All parties on the right voted in favour of the bill, as did the governing Social Democrats. Left-of-centre parties the Social Liberals, Red Green Alliance and Alternative voted against, while the Socialist People's Party abstained.

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

Three people with dual citizenship have had their Danish passports revoked under the law since it came into force.


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What names do foreign nationals give their babies in Switzerland?

Each year for more than three decades, the Federal Statistical Office has been publishing the first names of infants born in Switzerland the previous year. It seems that foreigners favour names that are typical of their national background.

What names do foreign nationals give their babies in Switzerland?
Foreigners give their babies names that reflect their nationality. Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

As The Local reported on Wednesday, the most popular names for newborn girls born in Switzerland in 2020 were Mia, Emma, and Mila.

For boys, Noah took the top spot, ahead of Liam and Matteo.

REVEALED: The most popular baby name in each Swiss canton

But what about the most popular names among various nationalities living in Switzerland?

The answers come from the same study.


The top name for boys of Italian parents is Giuseppe, followed by Antonio and Francesco. For girls, Maria is in the first place, Anna in the second, and Francesca in the third.


There are many Portuguese immigrants living in Switzerland and, like their Italian counterparts, they like to give their children traditional names: José, Carlos and Manuel for boys, and Maria, Ana, and Sandra for girls.


Spanish names are similar to those of Portuguese babies.

José, Juan and Jose are most popular boy names, while Maria, Ana and Laura are in the top three spots for the girls.


Most boys of Turkish descent are named Mehmet, Ali, and Mustafa. Among girls, Fatma, Ayse, and Elif dominate.


Arben, Vallon, and Bekim are top names for boys, and Fatime, Shquipe, and Merite for girls.


Bekim is in the first place for boys, followed by Muhamed and Fatmir. Among girls, Fatimr is in the lead, Sara in the second place, and Emine in the third.


Aleksandar, Dragan and Nicola take the first three spots. For the girls, Jelena, Maria and Snezana are at the top.

Can you give your baby any name you want?

Not in Switzerland, you can’t. It’s important to keep in mind that the cantonal registry offices, where new births must be announced, don’t have to accept very unusual names.

Several years ago, for instance, a Zurich court ruled that parents can’t name their infant daughter ‘J’.

In another case, a couple in the canton of Bern were ordered to change the name of their newborn son because their choice – Jessico – was considered too feminine. 

Several names have been forbidden in Switzerland, including Judas, Chanel, Paris and Mercedes.