Danish PM assaulted in Copenhagen, suspect arrested


Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was assaulted by a man on a square in the capital of Copenhagen, the state news agency Ritzau reported Friday.

Copenhagen police confirmed on the X platform that one person was arrested in the case and an investigation was underway.

There was no immediate word on how the assault happened or if Frederiksen was hurt in any way. The prime minister’s office told the Danish state broadcaster DR that she was “shocked” by the incident.

A witness to the incident told Reuters that Frederiksen had walked away and showed no outward signs of harm.

“She seemed a little stressed,” Soren Kjergaard, who works as a barista at the square, told Reuters after seeing the prime minister being escorted away by security.

The reports gave no further details, and it was unclear in what context the assault happened, but it comes just ahead of the European Union parliamentary elections 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.

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

‘Cowardly act of aggression’

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 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 shock waves through the nation of 5.4 million and reverberating throughout Europe.