Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Thursday, 28 January 2016

Ai Weiwei Closes Danish Exhibition To Protest New Refugee Law

Ai Weiwei Closes Danish Exhibition To Protest New Refugee Law

The Debrief: While over in Sweden, 80,000 may have their asylum claims rejected and face deportation

By now you've heard about the new law Denmark have passed allowing the government to seize the valuables of asylum seekers entering the country. Now, in protest, artist and activist Ai Weiwei has closed his exhibition Ruptures at the Faurschou Foundation in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The artist announced his decision on his Instagram stating 'This decision follows the Danish parliament’s approval of the law proposal that allows seizing valuables and delaying family reunions for asylum seekers.' He adds that Jens Faurschou, an art collector and owner of the Faurschou Foundation, supports his decision and says that he 'regrets that the Danish parliament choses to be in the forefront of symbolic and inhuman politics of todays biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe and the Middle East, instead of being in the forefront of a respectful European solution to solve the acute humanitarian crisis.'

The law, in case you missed it, will allow Danish authorities to seize refugees valuables worth more than 10,000 kroner (£1022) although items of special sentimental value will be exempt.

Over in Sweden today, there's more grim news for asylum seekers as the interior minister Anders Ygeman says that the country may reject the asylum claims of up to 80,000 immigrants who will then be deported. He later clarified his remarks in a Tweet saying that this wasn't his official position and that the courts would decide.

In The Netherlands, Diederik Samsom, the country's Labour party leader has proposed the introduction of a ferry that would take migrants arriving on the Greek islands straight back to Turkey. He claims Turkey is OK with with this proposal as long as the EU agrees to accept 250,000 migrants a year.

In the UK, David Cameron continues to come under fire for his careless reference to 'a bunch of migrants' in Prime Minister's Question Time yesterday.

In slightly less depressing news, Susan Sarandon earlier this week was found putting in her time on the Greek island of Lesbos, welcoming migrants coming off the boats and handing out aid. The actress told CNN that she came to 'hear peoples' stories then pass them on first hand'. She's paid special focus to women with babies 'that's the hearbreaking thing. You know that it must be an impossible situation to think that getting on a rubber boat with someone that doesn't even know how to drive it, not knowing what's going to be at the other side. To make that choice you have to be quite desperate. Would I get on a boat with my small children? If I was that desperate yes I suppose I would. If there was no alternative and that's what people have to understand.'

 
 

You can donate to Migrant Offshore Aid Station, a charity committed to preventing migrant deaths at sea here.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

What It's Really Like To Volunteer At The Calais Refugee Camps

'Some Women Have Just 1 Sanitary Pad For 3 Days' - The Reality Of Being A 20-Something Female Refugee In Greece

'The Psychological Trauma Never Leaves You' What It's Like To Grow Up As A Refugee In England

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

Tags: Politics, Artists