Man denied Danish citizenship over handshake

Under controversial 2018 law, people who refuse to shake hands with opposite sex cannot obtain Danish citizenship

Büşra Nur Bilgiç Çakmak   | 27.02.2020
Man denied Danish citizenship over handshake


A man who refused to shake hands during a Danish citizenship ceremony was denied the status of citizen, a Copenhagen official said Thursday.  

The incident comes as the result of a December 2018 Danish law requiring, as part of the naturalization process, new citizens to shake hands with the opposite sex in a ceremony.  

Badar Shah, a Pakistan-origin member of the Copenhagen City Council, said in a statement that the man could not get a Danish citizenship certificate because he refused to shake hands at the ceremony at Copenhagen City Hall.  

The man who refused to shake hands will be able to get citizenship if he changes his mind within two years and shake hands with the authorities at the mandatory handshaking ceremony.

Thomas Andresen, mayor of the southern town of Aabenraa, has criticized the handshaking ceremonies, saying they remind him of the Nazi era.

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak

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