Wrong Facebook update could cost passport

Government following up on pledge to crack down on jihadist fighters

A new law proposal that would allow the authorities to strip a Danish citizen of their passport based on social media updates is currently being prepared by the Justice Ministry.

The move comes in the wake of the government promising to crack down on the increasing number of Danish fighters travelling to take part in the conflict in Syria and Iraq on behalf of the Islamic State.

Should the law be passed, it will be possible to strip a person of their passport and ban them from leaving the country “if there is a basis for assuming that the individual is intending to travel abroad to take part in activities that could lead to or increase the chances of endangering state security, public order or other states' security”, the new law proposal says, according to Information newspaper.

READ MORE: Government to crack down on extremism and radicalisation

No human rights breach
When evaluating whether a person should be stripped of the passport, “utterances on social media” will carry weight. The police will evaluate every case individually and decide whether the conditions for passport withdrawal are fulfilled.

But if a person has “expressed sympathy for militant Islamic ideology” and “has expressed a desire to travel to Syria or another comparable conflict zone”, this will increase the burden of proof.

Should a person have their passport stripped, the person will have their case tried in court. The Justice Ministry also wrote that the new law proposal did not breach the European Convention on Human Rights.