Danish racism report ‘obscures’ full picture

An anti-racism group in Denmark has criticised the government’s latest progress report to the UN, saying it is glossing over the country’s ongoing race issues. According to the Documentation and Advisory Centre on Racism, the paper does not contain enough case numbers and the overall study is incomplete.

The situation in Denmark will be assessed in August by the UN’s Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which has just received the report. But the Danish campaign group claims the document has failed to recount a number of incidents that have been deemed as possibly race-related by the police and other investigators.

“For example, the report doesn’t mention that [national intelligence agency] PET has identified 560 cases with possible racial/religious overtones, including violence, harassment, vandalism and attempted murder,” said Niels-Erik Hansen, head of the advisory centre, in the report in the Copenhagen Post.

Hansen added that the report is an attempt to paint a “rosy” picture if the situation in Denmark, and said that over the past five years there have been 190 violations of anti-racism laws according to the national police, while the government’s assessment lists just 123. “If you cover your ears and close your eyes then it’s easy to pretend there’s no racism,” he said.

Justice Ministry advisor Frank Mathiesen, however, said the government would be happy to provide the UN with additional information on possible racially or religiously motivated incidents if it was requested. The Red Green Alliance and the Social Liberals have also come forward to brand the report as inadequate.

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