A Palestinian asylum seeker who began a hunger strike earlier this week, and attempted suicide on Wednesday, is being monitored by healthy authorities. However, his is not the first suicide attempt made by an asylum seeker in Iceland, and at least one death has occurred as a result.
As Grapevine reported, Mousa Sharif Al Jaradat came to Iceland from Norway about four months ago, fearing for his life after receiving death threats from the Israeli secret service Mossad. When he learned that the Directorate of Immigration intended to send him back to Norway, he began his hunger strike and has also refused water. On Wednesday, he attempted suicide by cutting his wrists.
RÚV reports that he is currently being monitored by health officials. “We watch over him every day and ask that he see a doctor every day,” said Hjördís Árnadóttir, the director of social services in Reykjanesbær, where Fit Hostel – where most asylum seekers in Iceland are kept – is located. “But people are responsible for their own lives, so long as their mental states are fine. We will not intervene unless he loses consciousness.”
This is not the first suicide attempt an asylum seeker has made in Iceland. Two years ago, a Lithuanian asylum seeker killed himself at Fit Hostel, and two others attempted suicide. At least three asylum seekers have been admitted to a psychiatric ward while waiting for an answer from the Directorate of Immigration, among them Iranian Medhi Kavyanpoor, who has so far waited seven years for any answer about his application for asylum.