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  • Danish PM Mette Frederiksen suffers minor whiplash from Copenhagen attack

    Danish PM Mette Frederiksen File Photo Danish PM Mette Frederiksen

    Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has suffered a light whiplash injury after she was assaulted by a man in central Copenhagen, her office has said.

    The 46-year-old was “shocked by the incident” on Friday evening in the capital’s Kultorvet square, the office said in an initial statement. Providing an update on Saturday, the office said Frederiksen had been taken to Rigshospitalet for a medical check-up following the assault.

    “The assault caused a minor whiplash injury,” it said, adding that the prime minister was “otherwise safe but shaken” and that her Saturday schedule had been cancelled.

    Danish police said on Saturday a 39-year-old man would appear in front of a judge for preliminary questioning in relation to an assault on the prime minister.

    Police said the man would be brought before the Copenhagen City Court for questioning at around 1pm (11:00 GMT), but declined to provide more detail.

    It was unclear in what context the assault happened, but it came two days before Danes head to the polls to vote in European Union parliamentary elections, which conclude across the bloc 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.

    Two witnesses, Marie Adrian and Anna Ravn, told media that they had seen Frederiksen arrive at the square while they were sitting by a nearby fountain just before 6pm (16:00 GMT).

    “A man came by in the opposite direction and gave her a hard shove on the shoulder, causing her to fall to the side,” Danish media quoted the women as saying.

    They added that while it was a “strong push”, Frederiksen did not hit the ground.

    According to the witnesses, the prime minister then sat down at a nearby cafe. They described the man as tall and slim, and said he had tried to hurry away but had not gotten far before being grabbed and pushed to the ground by men in suits.

    News of the assault was received with shock and condemnation by politicians across the political spectrum inside Denmark and abroad.

    European Council President Charles Michel said he was “outraged by the assault” while European Parliament President Roberta Metsola urged Frederiksen to “keep strong” while adding in a post on X that “violence has no place in politics”.

    EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen also condemned what she called a “despicable act which goes against everything we believe and fight for in Europe”, in a statement to social media.

    Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that “an attack on a democratically elected leader is also an attack on our democracy”, while French President Emmanuel called it “unacceptable” and wished Frederiksen “a speedy recovery”.

    In 2019, Frederiksen became Denmark’s youngest prime minister and kept the post after emerging victorious in the 2022 general election.