03:19 GMT29 May 2020
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    In a pioneering case, a 25-year-old jihadist who left Denmark to fight for Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) has been stripped of his Danish citizenship. This marks the first time a person born and raised in Denmark has had their national passport revoked.

    Denmark's Supreme Court sentenced Enes Ciftci to six years' imprisonment, deprivation of citizenship and expulsion from the Nordic country for joining Daesh and financing terrorism economically, Danish Radio reported.

    The man fought alongside his fellow Islamists in Syria and was first sentenced to seven years in prison by the District Court. However, the sentence was changed by the Court of Appeal, which also denied the jihadist his Danish citizenship. Nevertheless, the sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court.

    The court emphasized that the man twice joined Daesh, where he received arms training, while also supporting the organization with DKK 20,000 ($3,200) and publicly praising terrorism after the deadly attack in Copenhagen in 2015.

    The deprivation of citizenship is firmly rooted in international law, since the foreign fighter also happens to be a Turkish citizen.

    Ciftci was born in Denmark in 1992 to Turkish parents and was brought up and schooled in the Nordic country. His grandparents came to Denmark as guest workers in the 1960s and 1970s. He is single and lived with his parents until his arrest. He dropped out of high school and worked at the family's pizzeria.

    This case, where a Danish-born person was stripped of his citizenship, is expected to set a precedent for similar trials in the future. In the past, only one person had lost his Danish citizenship because of crime. This happened in June 2016 to Said Mansour, who was also a Moroccan citizen. Mansour, locally dubbed the "Bookseller from Brønshøj" and "al-Qaeda's PR man" was found guilty of fomentation and support of terrorism. Unlike Ciftci, however, he was not born in Denmark, but immigrated into the country as an adult.

    Ciftci's defender, Michael Juul Eriksen, argued that it is far from certain that his client will be expelled to Turkey for humanitarian reasons, as the country fails to comply with human rights on a number of points. Juul Eriksen also voiced the possibility of proceeding to the European Court of Human Rights.

    It is therefore likely that Ciftci will remain in the Nordic country under a scheme known as "tålt ophold" (or "tolerated stay"), in which foreigners are allowed to remain if they are at risk of the death penalty, torture or other inhuman treatment in their homelands.

    Earlier this year, the idea of revoking a jihadist's citizenship was proposed in Sweden, where "repentant" Islamists are funneled back into society through a reformation scheme that involves state benefits, which was proposed by the Conservative Party. However, Justice Minister Morgan Johansson of the ruling Social Democrats, who argued that people couldn't be rendered stateless, rejected the scheme.

    Denmark and Sweden have "contributed" to the conflict in Syria and Iraq with 135 and 300 jihadists, respectively, which exceeds the combined number of their troops and military instructors stationed in the Middle East.


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    Islamist militants, jihadism, terrorism, Daesh, Sweden, Scandinavia, Denmark
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