Government wants to make travel to conflict zones punishable

Justice Ministry cracking down hard on foreign fighters

The justice minister, Søren Pind, has proposed a change to the law to make it a punishable offence for Danes and foreigners living in Denmark to travel to areas abroad where terror organisations are part of an armed conflict.

All travel to such areas would need the approval of the Danish authorities, and those failing to adhere to these regulations could face up to six years in prison.

“With the new travel ban we are addressing one of the greatest threats towards our security at home, which is people who travel to conflicts, such as in Syria, and come home radicalised,” said Pind.

“It will simply be illegal to set foot in certain areas. We will also crack down harder on people who support or promote terrorism via armed conflicts.”

READ MORE: Many foreign fighters returning home to Denmark

Pending approval
The Justice Ministry wants to increase the punishment limit for people who join terrorist groups or promote terrorism to ten years, and to 16 years in special situations.

The ministry also wants to make it illegal and punishable by six years in prison to receive financial support from a terrorist organisation for the purpose of establishing or running an institution or company in Denmark.

The government will make a decision about which specific areas will be part of the travel ban after Parliament approves the proposal.

The news comes just days after a report from think-tank International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) revealed that Denmark had the highest return rate of foreign fighters in Europe.