Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Police and the Copenhagen City Council join forces to help young immigrants who feel threatened by their families to begin a new life

Copenhagen Post:

Young immigrants, who suffer violence or threats from their kinsmen, are to receive help to establish a new life and identity, national daily Berlingske Tidende reported on Tuesday.

Police and the Copenhagen City Council said they had agreed to cooperate to hide and establish a new identity for young people with foreign backgrounds, after a Pakistani man allegedly killed his younger sister and wounded her husband in the southern Zealand town of Slagelse on Friday.

Police believe that the 19-year-old woman and her 27-year-old Afghan husband were hiding from her family, who were so upset by their relationship and day-old marriage, that her older brother set out to kill the couple.

In some cases, authorities have helped girls change their names to protect them from their families, said Manu Sareen, immigration consultant at the Copenhagen City Council.

'I know of cases where authorities have helped girls hide from their families,' he said.

Police spokesman Magnus Andresen said police were sometimes forced to help girls move their belongings from their parents' homes, after they had been forced to move out.

'There have also been situations where more drastic measures have come into consideration, such as changing people's identities,' Andresen said, adding that these methods had never been realised due to different reasons.

Additionally, two safe houses have been founded for young immigrant women faced with forced marriages.

One of them, in the Copenhagen suburb of Ishøj, can protect up to twelve women behind locked steel doors, video surveillance, and alarms with direct contact to the police. The other one, the Chestnut House, is at a secret address.

Better immigration restrictions would probably work a lot better.


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