From Iceland — Protest In Front Of PM's Office Over Escaped Slave

Protest In Front Of PM’s Office Over Escaped Slave

Published July 26, 2011

A demonstration protesting the possible deportation of an escaped slave from Mauritania will be held in front of the Prime Minister’s office on Lækjargata today.
As reported, Mouhamde Lo, a 22-year-old from Mauritania who is seeking political asylum in Iceland, is an escaped slave. Initially, he fled to Norway, but when he was threatened with deportation, he came to Iceland instead.
Despite his home country’s well known and established reputation regarding slavery, the Directorate of Immigration has attempted to send Mouhamde back to Norway, where he faces certain deportation to Mauritania. There, he would likely be tortured and possibly executed for escaping slavery in the first place. Mouhamde is currently in hiding in Iceland.
However, Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson said he supports the deportation, citing the Dublin Regulation (which allows – but does not require – countries to deport asylum seekers back to their previous point of departure) and saying that Mouhamde has the right to appeal his case in Norway – even though such an appeal is filed at the European Court of Human Rights, which is located in France.
In light of this, a protest demonstration has been scheduled for noon today, in front of the Prime Minister’s office, and already has about 100 confirmed attendees.
For his part, Mouhamde told DV, “I like Icelanders, I want to have a new life. All my problems are in Mauritania. I want to work and maybe go to school some day. I want to live.”

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