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    Danish PM Mette Frederiksen suffers minor whiplash from Copenhagen attack

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    Danish PM Mette Frederiksen suffers minor whiplash from Copenhagen attack
    • June 9, 2024 • 1 month ago
    in summary
    Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen suffered minor whiplash after being assaulted in central Copenhagen's Kultorvet square. The incident left Frederiksen "shocked" but otherwise unharmed, and she was taken to Rigshospitalet for a medical check-up. The police arrested a 39-year-old Polish man, who has been remanded in custody for 12 days. Authorities believe the attack was a "single, spontaneous act" with no political motivation. Frederiksen expressed her gratitude for the support she received and emphasized her need for peace and time with her family. The incident occurred shortly before Denmark's EU parliamentary elections. European leaders condemned the attack, calling it an affront to democracy.

    Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen experienced a minor whiplash injury after being assaulted in Copenhagen's bustling Kultorvet square. The incident, which has shocked Denmark, prompted immediate responses from national and international leaders who condemned the attack and expressed their support for Frederiksen.

    According to an initial statement from Frederiksen's office, the 46-year-old Prime Minister was “shocked by the incident” but otherwise unharmed. She was quickly taken to Rigshospitalet for a medical evaluation, where it was confirmed that she had sustained a minor whiplash injury. In a subsequent statement, Frederiksen thanked those who offered support and described the outpouring of concern as “incredibly touching.

    I am saddened and shaken by the episode yesterday, but am otherwise safe,” she said. “For once, I need peace. Both for body and soul. I need to be with my family and need to be myself for a bit.

    The Copenhagen police have identified the assailant as a 39-year-old Polish man, who was arrested shortly after the incident. He appeared before a judge for preliminary questioning on Saturday and has been remanded in custody for 12 days. Prosecutor Taruh Sekeroglu indicated that political motivation is not considered the main hypothesis for the attack. Copenhagen police inspector Trine Moller described the incident as a “single, spontaneous act.”

    Frederiksen, who has been actively campaigning with the Social Democrats’ EU lead candidate Christel Schaldemose, was not at a campaign event at the time of the attack. Witnesses Marie Adrian and Anna Ravn recounted to BT newspaper that they saw Frederiksen being pushed hard on the shoulder by the assailant, causing her to stumble but not fall. The man attempted to flee but was quickly subdued by security personnel.

    Another witness, Kasper Jorgensen, observed the man being tackled to the ground by what appeared to be security agents. One of the agents reportedly restrained the attacker by placing a knee on his back until he was apprehended by the police.

    The attack on Frederiksen, Denmark's youngest prime minister who retained her position following a victorious 2022 general election, has sparked significant outrage and concern. EU Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen condemned the assault as a “despicable act which goes against everything we believe and fight for in Europe.” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and French President Emmanuel Macron also denounced the attack, highlighting its implications for democratic processes.

    This attack shakes all of us who are close to her,Danish Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke expressed on social media. “Something like this must not happen in our beautiful, safe, and free country.

    Violence against politicians has become an alarming trend in the lead-up to the EU elections. In Germany, a Social Democrats candidate was severely beaten while campaigning for the European Parliament. Similarly, Slovakia faced shockwaves from an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico in May.

    Despite the traumatic experience, Frederiksen's resilience and the swift response from Danish authorities underline the strength of democratic values in Denmark. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of protecting public figures and ensuring the safety and integrity of democratic processes worldwide.

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