Friday, August 19

Denmark to prohibit prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment from starting new romances | Denmark

Prisoners serving life sentences in Denmark will be prevented from starting new romantic relationships after it emerged that a 17-year-old fell in love with Peter Madsen, the killer of journalist Kim Wall, while in prison.

During the first 10 years of their incarceration, inmates’ long-term contacts, by letter, phone or online, will be limited to people they already knew before entering prison, according to legislation introduced by the government led by the Social Democrats. .

“We have seen unpleasant examples in recent years of prisoners who have committed vile crimes and contacted young people to gain their sympathy and attention,” said Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup. “This obviously must stop.”

The six-point bill, which has the backing of the center-right opposition and should take effect in January, will also prevent long-term prisoners from being able to freely post about their crimes on social media or discuss them on podcasts.

Today, long-term inmates can write, call and receive visits from people they did not know before being incarcerated and share details of their crimes online. Prisons should not serve as “dating centers or media platforms to brag about crimes,” Hækkerup said.

The bill follows public outcry over the way that Madsen, who murdered and later dismembered Wall in 2017 when he went to interview him in his homemade submarine, was able to strike up relationships with at least two women while in jail.

The inventor, who was convicted of premeditated murder, aggravated sexual assault and desecration of a corpse but only confessed to Wall’s murder in a television documentary last year, met and in 2020 married Jenny Curpen, 39, a Russian artist in Finland, after correspondence and visits. which began shortly after his sentencing in April 2018.

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Madsen also had a phone and written relationship with Cammilla Kürstein, who first contacted him when she was a 17-year-old schoolgirl in 2017 and last year he told Danish public broadcaster DK in an emotional interview that she was “absolutely in love with him.”

Human rights experts said they expected challenges to the new law. Jens Elo Rytter from the University of Copenhagen told BT newspaper that, on the face of it, the proposed ban on new relationships “would interfere with the prisoners’ right to privacy”, while the outlawing of public statements could “pose doubts about censorship “. ”.

Wall, who had written for The Guardian and The New York Times, was last seen alive on the Nautilus submarine on August 10, 2017. Her dismembered torso was found floating off the coast of Copenhagen 10 days after she disappeared. . His head, legs and clothing were discovered in bags in the sea that October.

Madsen, who was rescued shortly before the ship sank, initially claimed to have left the journalist on dry land. He later changed her story, saying that she had died when a heavy hatch cover accidentally fell on her head during her brief journey on the 17-meter (56-foot) submarine.

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