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Denmark to deprive jihadists' children of citizenship

The defeat of the Islamic State group in its last bastion in Syria has raised concerns internationally about the fate of fighters and their families
The defeat of the Islamic State group in its last bastion in Syria has raised concerns internationally about the fate of fighters and their families The defeat of the Islamic State group in its last bastion in Syria has raised concerns internationally about the fate of fighters and their families AFP/File
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Copenhagen (AFP)

Children born abroad to Danish jihadists will no longer receive Danish citizenship, the minority government announced Thursday after striking a deal with its populist ally the Danish People's Party.

"Contrary to current rules, children who will be born in regions prohibited to Danes... will not automatically receive Danish nationality," the immigration ministry said in a statement.

"As their parents have turned their back on Denmark, there is no reason for the children to become Danish citizens," Immigration Minister Inger Stojberg was quoted as saying in the statement.

The proposal must still go through parliament. No date has been set for the vote but it is expected to pass.

The fate of foreign fighters with the Islamic State group and their families has become a major international headache since the fall of the last vestige of its so-called caliphate in Syria.

Since 2016, it has been a criminal offence under Danish law to have fought in conflict zones for a terrorist group.

The courts have already convicted 13 people for having joined or tried to join a terrorist organisation.

Nine of those were stripped of their Danish nationality and expelled from the country. The others could not be stripped of their citizenship as they did not hold dual nationality.

Under the new rules, holders of dual nationality can lose their Danish citizenship by simple administrative order.

There are around 40 jihadists with links to Denmark in what used to be territory held by the Islamic State group in Syria, 10 of whom have been captured, according to the government.

The exact number of Danish children born there remains unknown.

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