Denmark summons Iran envoy over reports of pressuring women into illegal divorces

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Denmark on Wednesday summoned the Iranian ambassador over reports the diplomatic mission had allegedly pressured Iranian women living in the Scandinavian country to accept divorce terms drawn up by local imams.

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The summons follows recent reports in Danish media about Muslim women being forced to accept divorce deals made by imams in Denmark. A contract made by one imam said that a woman, among other things, had to accept that if she remarried, she would lose the custody of her children.

“I take the rumors extremely seriously that the Iranian Embassy, unsolicited, had contacted women living here to pressure them to have their Danish divorce papers religiously validated,” said Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod.

“That is also why we react as quickly and as clearly as we do,” he added in the statement.

Kofod added that the Scandinavian country will “in no way accept if an embassy is involved in cases that are contrary to Danish law — and contrary to our basic democratic values in Denmark.”

“The kind of religious control that we have heard about in the media does not belong in Denmark,” he said.

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