Socialist Left Party wants Norway to stop deporting beggars caught shoplifting

BeggarPhoto: Egor Myznik / Unsplash
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In 2013, the Stoltenberg government decided that beggars caught shoplifting should be deported. 

Now, the Socialist Left (SV) and the and the Church City Mission foundation (Kirkens Bymisjon) demand the practice to stop.

SV’s Petter Eide calls the practice inhumane.

“This upsets me so much that I have problems being a professional Norwegian parliament (Storting) politician,” Eide told newspaper Dagsavisen.

Dagsavisen has been given access to two cases from 2019, where the appeals body Utlendingsnemnda (UNE) upheld the deportation and expulsion decisions made by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). 

Expelled for stealing sausages and chocolate

In one case, a beggar from Romania was expelled from Norway for two years for stealing a package of sausages. 

In another case, a beggar was expelled from Norway for stealing a bar of chocolate.

“It is not a proportionate reaction in relation to the so-called crime,” Eide, who sits on the Storting’s justice committee, noted.

Marit Nybø in Kirkens Bymisjon says they believe the practice is discriminatory, and the organization is prepared to take legal action to stop the practice. 

Concrete steps

In the first instance, the organization is considering raising the matter before the Norwegian Parliamentary Ombudsman or the Discrimination Tribunal.

However, State Secretary Hilde Barstad (H) in the Ministry of Justice defends the practice.

In an email to Dagsavisen, Barstad said that considering the deportation of foreigners who are punished and who are likely to commit new criminal acts was, in her opinion, in line with what most people would support within the framework of the law. 

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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