Dane who fought against IS can retain his passport, High Court rules

‘Martin’ will not now lose his Danish passport for going to Iraq to fight

In 2015, a 32-year-old Dane known as ‘Martin’ fought with the Kurdish Peshmerga forces at Kirkuk in Iraq against Islamic State (IS).

Since March of that year it has been possible for the police to revoke the passport of any Danish national who they believe will participate in armed conflicts abroad and refuse to issue a passport to anyone who they suspect of travelling to fight for a terrorist organisation.

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Because of the Dane’s involvement in the war – and citing the passport law – the police confiscated his passport.

Martin decided to mount a legal challenge. In December the court rejected the prosecution’s case and the matter was then appealed to a higher court, who once again sided with Martin.

No case to answer
The essence of the judgment handed down by Vestre Landsret stated that: “During the presentation of evidence, no information has come to light that after returning home the foreign fighter, who fought on the Kurdish side in Iraq, has committed any terrorist act or other serious criminality.”

The court also gave due weight to the fact that Peshmerga is legally recognised in Iraq.

“We’re jubilant at the court’s decision, Martin’s lawyer, Erbil Kaya, told Metroxpress regarding the verdict.

“We feel that it is an official rubber-stamping of what Martin has done and a recognition of Peshmerga.”