Danish Prime Minister Assaulted on Campaign Trail

A male suspect has been arrested in connection with the assault on Denmark’s liberal leader

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was assaulted on a public square in Copenhagen on Friday. Police have arrested a male suspect, and Frederiksen is not believed to be seriously injured.

The attack took place at Kultorvet square in the center of the Danish capital. Prior to the attack Frederiksen had been campaigning with her party’s lead European election candidate, Christel Schaldemose, according to local media reports.

“Mette Frederiksen was today assaulted and beaten by a man on Kultorvet in Copenhagen. Mette is naturally shocked by the attack. I must say that it shakes all of us who are close to her,” Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke wrote in a statement on social media. 

Frederiksen’s office said that the prime minister was shocked by the incident, but offered no further comment. An unnamed source told Denmark’s Ekstra Bladet newspaper that Frederiksen was not seriously injured, but was left “very shaken.”

Police have taken a male suspect into custody, DR News reported.

The attack on Frederiksen came less than a month after a gunman attempted to assassinate Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. The Slovak leader has since recovered from the shooting, which he pinned on the “hatred and aggressiveness” of Slovakia’s pro-Western political opposition.

Opponents and allies of Frederiksen condemned Friday’s attack. “You can disagree about politics, but violence is and will remain completely unacceptable,” wrote Peter Skaarup of the right-wing Denmark Democrats. “Warm thoughts to Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who, no matter what, must be allowed to conduct her election campaign without being subjected to violent assaults.”