Refugee Still In Hiding - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Refugee Still In Hiding

Published January 9, 2012

A refugee from Mauritania who was issued deportation orders has been in hiding in Iceland for the past six months. A blogger who has worked with him worries that his case is not being taken seriously enough.
As reported last summer, the 22-year-old initially fled Mauritania for Norway. An escaped slave, he faces torture and possible execution for running away. Norwegian authorities decided all the same to send him back, which is when he fled for Iceland.
Citing the Dublin Regulation, the Directorate of Immigration ruled to deport him back to Norway, and Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson has supported this decision. Speaking to reporters at the time, he said, “That his case be settled in Norway has my full support, and it is my understanding that his case there has not been settled.”
Since this decision, the Mauritanian has been on the run, living in hiding here in Iceland. DV reports that blogger Eva Hauksdóttir – who is reportedly the person who had to inform him of Iceland’s deportation decision – is increasingly worried about the condition of the young man.
His deportation could violate numerous international human rights laws, as well as Icelandic law regarding equal treatment before the law. In addition, his case in Iceland has been poorly handled. He has had little opportunity to inform himself or plead his case. He speaks no English; his native language is Wolof although he does speak some Arabic. Bizarrely, he was not granted an interpreter who spoke either language when he was twice interviewed by the directorate.
At the time of this writing, Icelandic authorities have not indicated that they are considering changing their ruling on the matter.

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