Deportation Postponed - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Deportation Postponed

Published October 21, 2009

The planned deportation of an Afghani refugee has been postponed, at the behest of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The refugee in question, who is from Afghanistan, sought sanctuary in Iceland. His request was denied, and the Ministry of Justice had planned on deporting the man to Greece. Vísir reports that he is one of four refugees the ministry has decided to deport last September.
However, the man went into hiding before the previous weekend, and filed a complaint with the ECHR last Friday. That same day, the court requested that the ministry postpone deportation of the refugee, in accordance with Rule 39 of the ECHR, which affords refugees facing deportation the right to have their cases considered by the ECHR. The ministry agreed to postpone the deportation until the court responds as to whether or not it will consider the man’s case.
Iceland often cites the Dublin Accord when it comes to refugees, which gives government authorities the right to deport refugees back to the last country they visited before arriving in the country where they seek asylum. Greece is a stop-over point for many refugees trying to make their way into Europe, and as there are no direct flights from war-torn countries like Afghanistan to Iceland, Icelandic authorities intended to deport the refugee in this instance to Greece. However, Greece has been in recent days harshly criticised for their treatment of refugees.
Use of the Dublin Accord has been controversial in Iceland, made especially apparent when Kenyan refugee Paul Ramses was deported to Italy, away from his wife and infant child, which sparked protests throughout the capital.


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