Seven Arrested at Refugee Protest - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Seven Arrested at Refugee Protest

Published April 6, 2009

Seven people were arrested at a protest demonstration which took place at the home of the Office of Immigration director.
Morgunblaðið reports that between 20 and 30 people marched to the home of Haukur Guðmundsson, to protest what they see as unfair treatment towards asylum seekers in Iceland. Police at the scene asked the protestors to leave the property. All but seven complied, and those seven were promptly arrested, presumably for trespassing.
One of the major points of contention for the protestors is Iceland’s invoking of the Dublin Accord, which it intends to use to send five refugees to Greece. The Dublin Accord – that refugees can be sent back to the location where their previous visa was issued – as a reason for rejecting the vast majority of refugees and simply sending them back to their last point of departure before arriving in Iceland.
The
five refugees in question come from Albania, Afghanistan and Iraq. Many
refugees fleeing the Middle East will often first enter Greece before
seeking asylum elsewhere. As there are no direct flights to Iceland
from Afghanistan, Iraq or Albania, the Icelandic government often does
cite the Dublin Accord and turns asylum seekers away.
The most famous example would be the case of Paul Ramses, a Kenyan who sought asylum in Iceland but was sent to Italy, as that was the country of origin of his last visa. The deportation gained national attention, as he was separated from his wife and infant child still in Iceland. The Ministry of Justice reviewed the case at the behest of a national outcry, and he was brought back to Iceland.

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