The lawsuit, called a historic by a law professor, concerns an order by the former minister of immigration to separate 23 couples in 2016.
In Denmark a trial began on Thursday on a former prosecution minister’s official charge of separating asylum-seeking couples.
Only a special court of 26 judges judging members of the former or current government will decide whether to violate Inger Støjberg European Convention on Human Rights.
The lawsuit was reported by, among others, the news agency AFP and Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR.
Støjberg ordered the separation of a total of 23 couples in 2016 without examining the cases individually. It is the lack of individual scrutiny that is the cause of the prosecution. In separated couples, one or both parties were under 18 years of age.
Prosecutors have also alleged the former minister lied to or misled the parliamentary committees when announcing his decision. However, this had not been recorded in the indictment read on Thursday.
The case is exceptional, as Støjberg is only the second minister to be prosecuted in Denmark in the last 100 years.
Støjberg himself denies all charges and says he expects release from charges. He is due to testify at the trial on September 13th.
The Danish Parliament voted to prosecute Støjberg last February. The minister said he had made his decision to fight forced child marriages.
“Imagine what it is like to enter an equality country like Denmark as a young girl who has been the victim of forced marriage, and instead of getting rid of forced marriage, the state forces you to stay in one reception center for asylum seekers,” Støjberg said at the time.
Of the 179 Members of Parliament, 139 voted in favor, 30 against and 10 were absent. Støjberg left his party, the Danish Liberal Party Venstren, after the vote.
Støjberg served as Minister of Immigration in the center-right, Venstre unilateral government.
The government operated with the support of the Second Liberal Party, the Liberal Alliance, the Conservative People’s Party and the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party.
Stojberg was responsible for Denmark’s strict immigration policy. He said with pride that he had passed 110 amendments to the law that curtailed the rights of immigrants.