Returning ISIS-fighters will now be called traitors and punished with imprisonment up to life, says the government.
The government is now ready to punish returning terrorists harder and with a new word, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports.
With a bill, who Minister of Justice, Søren Pind, now has proposed in parliament, the Government suggests that persons traveling to armed conflicts and fight against Denmark, should be convicted for "treason" and in particularly serious cases punished with imprisonment of up to life.
Today, the maximum penalty is 16 years imprisonment for crimes popularly termed as treason.
The Criminal Code already allows for punishing Syria fighters with imprisonment for life if they are convicted of terrorism (§ 114), but the Government's new bill would amend the Criminal Code so that it in all cases it is regarded as treason to join a hostile armed force in eg Syria or Iraq. It will also be prohibited to solicit or encourage people to join a hostile armed force - for example, Islamic State or other extremist groups.
In addition, the government wants the word 'treason' written into the title of the Penal Code Chapter 12, so it will be called 'treason and other crimes against the independence and security." The goal is to clarify that the most serious crimes in the chapter is considered treason.
In a press release from the Ministry of Justice, Søren Pind emphasizes that the so-called "foreign fighters" must be closely watched.
"People who live in this country, must be loyal to Denmark. We must not accept that militant extremist groups succeed in recruiting foreign fighters from Denmark. And when people put aside their loyalty and choose to go into battle under the extremists' flag, they must be aware that they are being kept closely watched and that it will have serious consequences when they return," says Søren Pind.
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