Aarhus man sees pattern of discrimination after nightclub snub

Accusation of nationality-based discrimination follows other incidents in which club guests said they faced outright discrimination

A Bulgarian man denied admittance to an Aarhus nightclub is accusing the establishment's owners of discrimination.

Lubomir Rashev, a student at Aarhus University, has been living in Aarhus for the past three years. He claims that the September 19 incident outside the nightclub ZenZa was a clearly prejudiced act. 

A request for comment by ZenZa's management was not returned, but according to Rashev's version of the story, a club security guard told him he was not able to enter the establishment due to his nationality. The security guard then reportedly added that he had been instructed by his employer to not allow individuals from certain countries onto ZenZa's premises. 

In addition to the establishment's private security, two Aarhus police officers were also reportedly present during the incident. However, when asked to intervene on his behalf, Rashev claims the officers expressed "indifference to the situation".

"I am aware that private businesess are entitled to refuse access to their premises, but the grounds on which this refusal happened, the direct racism on the approach of the security guard and the incompetence of the local police shocked me," Rashev told The Copenhagen Post. "I am determined to do whatever it takes to stand against this racist approach in the night life of Aarhus or whichever other town in Denmark."

"No blacks allowed"
The incident was not the only one of its kind. Last year, Tendai Tagarira, a human rights activist and former Copenhagen Post columnist, had a similar experience at the nightspot Kurts Mor in Aarhus, when he claims he was denied entry on the basis of his skin colour.

"I was simply told: 'Sorry, no blacks allowed inside tonight. A Somali is suspected of stealing a credit card from a Dane and about 30,000 kroner is missing from that account'," Tagarira said. 

Read more: Grain of Sand | Sorry, no blacks allowed tonight

In response to the situation, Tagarira filed a police report and started a media campaign in an effort to bring awareness to ongoing discrimination in Aarhus. He also launched an online petition that reached over 400 signatures – well over Tagarira's goal of 100.   

Video chronicles discrimination
Additionally, a YouTube video entitled 'Blacks and Eastern Europeans not wanted in Aarhus' follows a group of foreigners during a night out on the town (see it below). The video is a personal account of the group's experience with being denied access to two different Aarhus establishments – Bodegaen and Vinstuen – on the grounds of their nationality. 

In the video, the group carries out an experiment at Bodegaen, in which they give a Danish man a Romanian ID card to test whether he is permitted to enter the establishment. With the Romanian ID, the Dane is turned away. Yet 15 minutes later when he attempts to go in again with his Danish ID, he succeeds. 

"I guess Danish is good enough for them," said the Danish man in the YouTube clip. "I got rejected as a Romanian guy, but I just spoke a little Danish and I got in. I don't know what's wrong. Seriously, seriously, it's fucked up. They're fucked up."     

Rashev said he was stepping forward because he enjoyed living in the city and didn't want to see it get a reputation for being intolerant.

"I believe that by taking a stand I can prevent such things from occurring again in our lovely city of Aarhus," Rashev said.