Refugee Service in Lom and Skjåk wanted to visit the Santa Farm in Lom with refugees. The answer was no, the owners did not want visits by refugees.
The visit included both adults and children and refugee services would pay for them, but they were rejected outright.
– Sad, says Margrethe Øvrelid of refugee services in Skjåk municipality at Gudbrandsdølen Dagningen.
– I have no other comment than I think it is sad and the answer from Santa Farm speaks for its self. We have never experienced such a thing before. We have only been met with positive responses, says Øvrelid.
– Our view
To be sure she had understood the answer correctly Øvrelid sent an email to Santa Farm afterwards. The answer was the same.
“Had the municipality payed for the visit on their own, the issue would have been completely different”, is the answer she got.
Grethe Madsen, who runs Santa Farm Cabins and Activities together with Kjell, confirmed to the newspaper that she did not want to accept refugee guests.
– We are allowed to have a stand on it. It seems they should respect our opinion in the matter, after all we live
in a democracy, she said.
VG says that she is not racist, but believes that the municipality discriminates against asylum seekers and children, and that it is one of the reasons she said no.
– Can be punishable
The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Hanne Bjurstrøm emphasizes that refusal of goods and services based on ethnicity or national origin may be a criminal offense. She says to GD that she takes the issue very seriously as it is being portrayed in the media.
– Generally speaking we can say that denial of goods and services based on ethnicity or national origin is punishable by Penal Code 186. We recommend that those who experience such things contact the police or take it up with us, said Bjurstrøm.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today