Worried Denmark Places Newspaper Ads to Deter Syrian Refugees

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People take part in a protest against the Danish government's refugee and asylum-seeker legislative package, at Nytorv public square in Copenhagen August 26, 2015.     REUTERS/Emil Hougaard/Scanpix Denmark.
People take part in a protest against the Danish government’s refugee and asylum-seeker legislative package, at Nytorv public square in Copenhagen August 26, 2015. REUTERS/Emil Hougaard/Scanpix Denmark.

COPENHAGEN (IINA) – Denmark placed an advert in Lebanese newspapers on Monday in an apparent bid to deter refugees from travelling to the country, Anadolu Agency reported.

The advert made available in English and Arabic outlined the EU member state’s policies towards migrants, including tighter regulations on social benefits and a temporary residence permit that does not allow refugees to bring their families to the country.

Placed by the Immigration Ministry, the notice said foreign nationals would only be eligible for permanent residence after five years. It said that those seeking permanent residence must be able to speak Danish, warning that failed asylum seekers would be quickly deported.

The adverts have led to a backlash in Denmark, with Uffe Elbaek, leader of the Alternative Party, posting on Twitter that it was “the worst timing for an ad in the history of the world” – an apparent reference to the swelling sympathy for Syrian refugees across Europe following the publication of images of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy found drowned on a Turkish beach last week.

Martin Lidegaard, a former foreign minister, said the ads were “distasteful and bad publicity for Denmark.”

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