Somalis consider suing after playground ban

A group of outraged Somalis say they are considering suing a Danish playground owner after he imposed a blanket ban on them using his property.

Thomas Vestergaard said people of the nationality were not welcome at the Legeland adventure play facility in Århus, northeast Denmark, for six months after a fight broke out at an Islamic festival on 13th November.

In an official statement issued when the news first broke, the AarhuSomali group said, “Somali associations are shocked at the Århus playground Legeland’s decision to exclude law-abiding Danish citizens of Somali origin from patronising their business.”

Human rights experts also condemned the move as illegal. Speaking to the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, lawyer Jonas Christoffersen said, “This clearly violates racism laws, which say you can’t discriminate based on nationality or skin colour, and that’s the case here.”

The ban effectively only lasted for one day, however, with Vestergaard relenting after meeting with Somali groups. He told the Århus Stiftstidende local newspaper that, “They are welcome again,” after the Somali community apparently acknowledged that “They needed to treat [his] property with respect.”

But some Somalis are still unhappy with the resolution and are considering legal action against the playground owner.

“AarhuSomali has discussed whether this case should have consequences for Legeland’s owner. In the coming days, we will consult our legal advisers about the next steps,” a spokesperson for the organisation said.