An Iraqi man who was in the process of appealing his asylum application to the courts was arrested last Sunday, to be deported on his way back to Iraq.
Ahmed Kamel al-Rubaie, originally from Iraq, fled the country and sought asylum in Norway in 2008. However, authorities there denied him refugee status. Rather than face deportation to Iraq – where he claims his life is in danger – he came to Iceland in November 2011 to apply for asylum here.
According to a statement to the press from refugee rights protesters, it is here that his story gets more complicated:
He was denied asylum, after which he then made an appeal to the Minister’s Office. He waited all this time until this summer when once again he was denied. At this point he changed lawyers and made an appeal to send his case back to the courts. He was waiting for an answer from the courts about the date of his hearing, when the police arrested him on Sunday 23 of September, no set date from the courts had been established. And now the authorities will send him to Norway around 7 in the morning today 24/09/2012, where he has already been denied asylum. The authorities in Norway have already established they will send him back to Iraq, where his life will be in danger.
The Dublin II Regulation allows – but does not require – nations to deport asylum seekers back to their previous point of departure. Since there are few if any direct flights from war-torn countries to Iceland, Icelandic authorities have made full use of that particular clause.
Despite the fact that Ahmed has fulfilled all the legal requirements asked of him, and even has an employer willing to hire him, his deportation is imminent. As the statement continues:
This is a constant problem for asylum seekers in this country, always being told, all they have to do is get a work contract and then they will be able to receive a social security number. At the same time, the same officials tell the potential employers they are not allowed to give a contract without the person possessing a social security number.
No one ever wishes to be an asylum seeker or Refugee. It is a nightmare from which you can´t escape. Never knowing from one day to the next if you will be sent back to the same situation they had to escape from to begin with. These people who are coming to Iceland are people that are in direct need and distress. Most situations can be attributed to western foreign policy.