Afghan Asylum Seeker, Facing Deportation, On Hunger Strike

Afghan Asylum Seeker, Facing Deportation, On Hunger Strike

Published March 7, 2017

Abdolhamid Rahmani, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, is facing an impending deportation to Greece, despite having been extorted into accepting asylum in that country after a lengthy imprisonment.

The Grapevine spoke with Abdolhamid, with the help of an interpreter, this afternoon. Abdolhamid’s parents were killed in an earthquake in 2006. He and his brothers ran afoul of a local warlord, who persecuted his family for many years. After one of Abdolhamid’s brothers was killed by an associate of this warlord, Abdolhamid opted to flee the country.

His journey would eventually take him to Greece. There, he was treated the way almost all refugees to Greece are treated: he was arrested and imprisoned. Abdolhamid was told his options were to either agree to apply for asylum in Greece, or be sentenced to 18 months in prison. He initially refused to accept asylum, but after 20 months in prison, he finally relented. Still, he was not released, and would spend a total of about four years in prison before he was finally released, in the fall of 2014.

Abdolhamid came to Iceland in August 2016. He had been taking Icelandic classes, and is a skilled masonry worker. However, his application and his appeals for asylum were denied by both the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) and the Immigration Appeals Board, who refused to even examine his case. This is most likely due to the Dublin Regulation – an international agreement which gives signatory states the power to deport asylum seekers if they were granted asylum in another country. Given the fact that he was effectively extorted into accepting asylum in Greece – and moreover, because he wants to make a life for himself in Iceland – he has refused to accept the deportation decision.

As such, he has been on a hunger strike for nine days at the time of this writing, and has all but refused even water, despite the pleas of his friends at the shelter where he lives. It is his hope that he be granted asylum in Iceland, where he hopes to resume his Icelandic language classes, and eventually be able to receive gainful employment (asylum seekers are forbidden by law to work) as he builds a new life for himself in peace.


News
Petition Going To Protest Deportation

Petition Going To Protest Deportation

by

A petition is going protesting the impending deportation of asylum seeker Sid Ahmed Haddouche and his family. Sid is a

News
Bird Flu Breakout In Iceland Likely

Bird Flu Breakout In Iceland Likely

by

Preparations against a possible bird flu outbreak have been ramped up, reports RÚV. The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (IFVA) has

News
Investigation Opened Into Chatty Bus Driver

Investigation Opened Into Chatty Bus Driver

by

An investigation has been opened into an incident in which a bus driver allegedly spoke on his mobile phone without

News
UPDATE: Man Just Couldn’t Wait To Shoot His Gun

UPDATE: Man Just Couldn’t Wait To Shoot His Gun

by

Police have arrested the man who shot off a gun in Kópavogur earlier this week, reports RÚV. Police confirm that the

News
Local Mink Shot Dead In The Streets

Local Mink Shot Dead In The Streets

by

The scuttling mink spotted in Reykjavík city centre yesterday morning has been shot by an animal control officer, reports Vísir.

News
Gunshots Fired In Kópavogur

Gunshots Fired In Kópavogur

by

Capital Area Police were called to Kópavogur at around 21:00 last night after reports of gunfire in Grundahverfi. As many

Show Me More!