Asylum seeker rights group No Borders protested Icelandair’s recent decision to sue two asylum seekers who attempted to stow away on a plane bound for Denmark, saying the airline has still given no clear answer on what it hopes to gain from the move.
As reported, two asylum seekers from the Fit Hostel in Keflavík managed to board an Icelandair plane bound for Denmark, but were discovered before the plane took off. The two had somehow managed to board the plane bound for Copenhagen, and locked themselves in the toilet. During a routine inspection before boarding, the toilet was found locked, and security was called to the scene. The two young men were apprehended and taken into police custody.
Shortly thereafter, Icelandair announced that it intended to sue the two men for damages incurred for delaying the flight four hours. In a statement to the press, No Borders has objected to the move, pointing out that the stowaways did no damage to property and used no violence against anyone.
According to their statement, members of the group met with Icelandair spokesperson Guðjón Arngrímsson, who, No Borders says, was not able to give a clear answer to why they were planning to sue the two men, who clearly do not have the money to pay damages and will only add to the misery of their lives. Guðjón allegedly told No Borders that the decision would be reviewed.
No Borders points out that after taxes, asylum seekers in Iceland receive a stipend of about 2,500 ISK per week, and by law are not allowed to work.
The group adds that Iceland continues to prosecute asylum seekers who arrive here with false passports, contrary to the ruling of the Parliamentary General Committee that asylum seekers arriving with false or forged passports should not be prosecuted; that the law against such fraud should be focused instead against those engaging in human trafficking.