Danish PM Mette Frederiksen ‘assaulted’; Modi condemns attack
File photo of Narendra Modi with Danish PM Mette Frederiksen

Danish PM Mette Frederiksen ‘assaulted’; Modi condemns attack

While eyewitnesses told the media that the PM was not visibly hurt, the Danish PMO told the state broadcaster that Frederiksen was “shocked” over the incident

A man reportedly assaulted Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in central Copenhagen on Friday (June 7), local media reported.

Police confirmed that “there has been an incident with the prime minister” and that a 39-year-old man was arrested on Friday. He is expected to face a custody hearing on Saturday, police said.

Narendra Modi, who is about to be sworn in as the Prime Minister of India for the third term on Sunday, condemned the attack in a post on X. “Deeply concerned by the news of the attack on Mette Frederiksen, Denmark’s Prime Minister. We condemn the attack. Wishing good health to my friend,” the post read.

Eyewitness account

Authorities did not provide details on whether Frederiksen was hurt.

However, two eyewitnesses, Anna Ravn and Marie Adrian, told the daily BT that they saw a man walking toward Frederiksen and then “pushing her hard on the shoulder so she was shoved aside.” They stressed that the premier did not fall down.

Another witness, Kasper Jorgensen, told the Ekstra Bladet tabloid that a well-dressed man, who seemed part of Frederiksen's protection unit, and a police officer took down the alleged assailant.

Frederiksen “shocked”

Soren Kjærgaard, who was working at a local bar on Kultorvet Square where the incident happened, told the BT that he saw Frederiksen after the incident and she had no visible injuries to her face but walked away quickly.

The prime minister’s office told the Danish state broadcaster DR on Friday that Frederiksen was “shocked” by what happened.

European Union parliamentary elections are currently underway in Denmark and the rest of the 27-nation bloc and will conclude on Sunday.

Frederiksen has been campaigning with the Social Democrats' EU lead candidate, Christel Schaldemose. Media reports said the attack was not linked to a campaign event.

Condemnation from politicians

Politicians in the Scandinavian country and abroad condemned the reported assault.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that “an attack on a democratically elected leader is also an attack on our democracy,” while Charles Michel, president of the European Council, condemned on X what he called a “cowardly act of aggression.”

Violence against politicians

Violence against politicians has become a theme in the run-up to the EU elections. In May, a candidate from Germany’s Centre-Left Social Democrats was beaten and seriously injured while campaigning for a seat in the European Parliament.

In Slovakia, the election campaign was overshadowed by an attempt to assassinate populist Prime Minister Robert Fico on May 15, sending shockwaves through the nation of 5.4 million and reverberating throughout Europe.

Assault on politicians in Denmark is rare.

On March 23, 2003, two activists threw red paint on then-Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen inside the parliament and were immediately arrested. Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller also suffered some splashes that day.

(With agency inputs)

Read More
Next Story