Denmark made international headlines in late November 2018, when the Danish government announced a plan to send certain asylum seekers to the small, uninhabited island of Lindholm. The international outrage was intensified when it came to light that the island currently houses a research center for contagious animal diseases; that the ferry which the asylum seekers will be able to take to the mainland during the day (it does not operate in the evening) is named “Virus”; and that the asylum center will be accompanied by a constant police presence on the island.
The group of asylum seekers meant to live in Lindholm consists of criminals of various sorts, including those who have been sentenced to be deported from Denmark, those who are considered a security threat to Denmark, and so-called “foreign warriors”.
The asylum seekers, however, cannot be deported to their country of origin, either because those countries do not adhere to human rights conventions, (which Denmark has signed and by which it is therefore obligated) that prohibit the use of torture, so-called inhumane treatment and the death sentence, or simply because the country of origin refuses to take them back.
The island will undergo a comprehensive renovation, estimated to take nearly three years and to cost Danish taxpayers approximately 759 million Danish kroner (approximately $116 million). Until the renovation is completed, this group of asylum seekers will remain at their current housing facility, an asylum center known as Kærshovedgård, 6 kilometers from the nearest town of Bording. Kærshovedgård, a former prison, was established as an asylum center in 2016.
In the two and a half years since, pol