A statement from the Young Leftist-Greens (UVG) expressed “great disappointment” in the government’s treatment of asylum seekers in Iceland.
Specifically, UVG called upon the ruling coalition of the Social Democrats and Leftist-Greens to take up a humanitarian platform, carefully reviewing each application for asylum, instead of evoking the Dublin Accord – an international agreement which allows (but does not oblige) authorities to send refugees back to their previous departure point.
UVG cited the deportation of a young man from Iran yesterday, who came to Iceland seeking asylum, but was deported under the Dublin Accord without his appeal even being considered.
The use of the Dublin Accord in Iceland is controversial – because there are no direct flights from war-torn or totalitarian countries to Iceland, anyone seeking asylum here must stop over in another country on their way here. Icelandic authorities can then evoke the Dublin Accord to deport asylum seekers to these stop-over points. Greece, a common stop-over point into Europe from the Middle East, has an atrocious human rights record with regards to refugees.
The most notorious example of the use of the Dublin Accord was the case of Paul Ramses, a Kenyan asylum seeker who was deported to Italy, separated from his wife and infant child here in Iceland. This sparked national protests, eventually resulting in his return to Iceland.