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Denmark’s prisons for non-EU criminals are now in Kosovo

Pristina: The Kosovo Parliament has approved an agreement to lease 300 prison cells to Denmark for housing non-EU criminals who have completed their sentences and are awaiting deportation. The agreement, valued at €210 million over a 10-year period, will see the prison cells located near the town of Gjilan in eastern Kosovo.

After facing opposition that initially delayed the legislative process, the agreement was finally passed with 86 votes in the 120-seat parliament. This significant move marks substantial cooperation between the two countries.

Danish Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard emphasised the importance of this agreement for Denmark’s prison system, stating that the reconstruction of the prison in Kosovo will commence shortly. He underscored that this arrangement sends a clear message that foreign criminals who have completed their sentences will not remain in Denmark.

Kosovo’s Justice Minister, Albulena Haxhiu, hailed the agreement as a testament to the trust and mutual respect between Kosovo and Denmark. The government plans to use the funds from this agreement to improve Kosovo’s prison infrastructure and invest in renewable energy projects.

Concerns from Human Rights Groups

Despite the positive outlook from government officials, human rights groups have raised concerns about the current state of Kosovo’s prisons. They highlight issues such as inter-prisoner violence, corruption, extreme religious and political interference, lack of adequate medical care, and violence by prison staff. These groups urge that these problems be addressed as part of the agreement’s implementation.

Irish Samachar English News

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