Last week, the Copenhagen City Court acquitted four people of helping 17 refugees travel from Denmark to Sweden by boat. The events that led the four to court took place a year ago.
“We saw a man who looked like he could be a refugee and showed him a sign that said ‘Welcome, would you like to go to Sweden?’,” University of Copenhagen student Annika Holm Nielsen told DR at the time.
“The man nodded, but since there were police everywhere, we hustled him from the station and sailed him to Sweden.”
The prosecutor used the defendants’ statements channelled through various media in order to prove their guilt, but the court decided there was insufficient evidence to send the four behind bars.
It has been speculated that the incident was a publicity stunt to fulfil the political agenda of Mimoza Murati and Nielsen, who are both co-founders of the organisation ‘Medmenneskesmuglerne’ (fellow human traffickers), a sub-group of the ‘Welcome to Denmark’ network of volunteers that assists refugees.
After the verdict the girls were quoted as saying they were pleased with the decision, but not with the law concerning refugees and those who want to help them.
“These people are exposed to a very bureaucratic system that is responsible for their future,” Nielsen told the University Post.
“They are people who are being killed and subjected to holocaust-like conditions. We will do everything to change the law and fight for equal rights. The fight is not over yet.”
The maximum penalty for human trafficking is two years in prison.