After two years and a twenty-day hunger strike that gained national
attention, the Ministry of Justice has announced that it intends to go
over Algerian asylum seeker Mansri Hichem’s application as soon as
As we reported, Hichem’s efforts have generated a sympathy hunger strike from every other resident staying at the Fit guesthouse in Njarðvík with him. A psychologist from the Red Cross says Hichem is in a lot of pain and his condition is serious. Despite the fact that the Dublin Accord (the same one authorities refer to when citing their right to deport anyone seeking asylum) requires authorities to take up an asylum seeker’s application within six months, Hichem has waited about two years – and some have waited even longer.
But yesterday, the Ministry of Justice announced it was taking up Hichem’s application for asylum and would work through it as soon as possible. Katrín Theódórsdóttir, Hichem’s lawyer, has advised her client that even so, the process can take a very long time, and to use the time productively towards building a solid case for staying. She also told RÚV that she hopes the ministry’s decision reflects a change in attitude within the new government.