The Directorate of Immigration has agreed to take Priyanka Thapa’s application for asylum into review again.
As the Grapevine reported, 23-year-old Priyanka Thapa, originally from Nepal but seeking asylum in Iceland, was facing deportation to an arranged marriage that awaits her in her home country. The matter has sparked a great deal of public support, with Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson (shown above) saying that her case underlines the need to review asylum law.
The Grapevine caught up with Priyanka and her host parents, Anna Lára Steingrímsdóttir and Þórólfur Gunnarsson, to speak with them about their situation. It turns out the family had some good news to share – the Directorate of Immigration has agreed to look at Priyanka’s case again.
“The newest news was a decision made about three hours ago, based on some new documents we sent to [the Directorate of Immigration].”, Þórólfur told us. “Basically, we’re going to send in the same application, only with some new documents, and they are going to re-evaluate her application. After what we’ve gone through, I think it’s absolutely crucial in this situation to have some lawyers assist with the initial application. The people in [law offices] Réttur have been doing a seriously good job. Hopefully we’ll get that answer quickly, but it can take up to 90 days. Based on the support we’ve been getting, this is just unbelievable. We are very optimistic.”
When asked if he agrees with the minister’s remarks that asylum law needs to be reviewed, both Anna Lára and Þórólfur emphatically agreed.
“I think the work procedure could be clearer,” Þórólfur said. “It’d be nice if the asylum seekers could be more involved in the process.”
In related news, the minister told RÚV that he would never be party to deporting someone from Iceland to be forced into an arranged marriage in their home country.