Danish politician on trial for harbouring refugees

Aarhus city councillor charged with opening her home to two African refugees last September

Maria Sloth, an Aarhus city councillor, will appear in court today charged with housing two refugees who were in the country illegally.

Sloth and her roommate are accused of violating the Alien Act last September  when the number  of refugees moving through Europe was at its highest.

Party lines
The charge sheet accuses the two defendants of allowing two African refugees to stay overnight at their home and then arranging transport and ferry tickets so they could travel on to Norway the next day.

Sloth is a member of Enhedslisten. Konservative politician Marc Perera Christensen is the one who originally reported her to the police.

“I think it is very strange that we have a law that sends you to court for helping people,” Sloth told Århus Stiftstidende. “We were never in doubt that we were doing the right thing.”

Expensive kindness
Sloth and her co-defendant face either a fine or the possibility of imprisonment for up to two years.

This is not the first case of Danes being prosecuted for helping refugees. According to DR Nyheder, a 41-year-old man was fined 5,000 kroner for giving five Afghan refugees a lift from Flensburg in Germany to the ferry landing in Grenaa.

READ MORE: Refugees trying to get into Sweden from Denmark under trucks

In March, author Lisbeth Zornig was fined 22,500 kroner for giving a Syrian family a lift from Rødbyhavn to Sweden.