No Borders Iceland Takes Issue With Minister's Speech - The Reykjavik Grapevine

No Borders Iceland Takes Issue With Minister’s Speech

Published November 21, 2012

No Borders Iceland has released a statement saying that the Minister of the Interior shows an inconsistent policy when he talks about how the people of Gaza are being treated.
As reported, protests were held in front of the US embassy Monday evening, wherein about 1,000 people voiced opposition to American support of Israel, which is currently engaged in a military campaign with Gaza. Among the attendees was Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson, who gave a speech saying in part, “How many children will be killed before the ten o’ clock news.”
No Borders Iceland has issued a statement to the press, saying that the minister – while showing empathy for people living in Gaza – seems to have no compunction with sending asylum seekers back to the region. They point out that Iraqi asylum seeker Ahmed Alqaysi, who is currently in police custody in Suðurnes, will soon be sent back to similar conditions the people in Gaza now face.
“One could ask the minister [in response to his question], ‘How many asylum seekers will be sent to their deaths before the end of the month?'” the statement says in part.
They go on to point out that many of those who come to Iceland as refugees are themselves trying to escape war, and that while it may be easy for the minister to speak about those living in Gaza under the threat of war, Iceland’s refugee policy – which in almost every instance deports those seeking asylum back to their last point of departure – often times sends asylum seekers into similar conditions.

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