An asylum seeker from Nigeria is facing deportation from Iceland, while his girlfriend is due to give birth to their child this January. Lawyers who spoke with reporters contend this violates international agreements to which Iceland belongs.
DV reports that the Directorate of Immigration decided that Tony Omos, an asylum seeker from Nigeria, is to be deported today. His whereabouts are unknown at the time of this writing, but police are reportedly looking for him.
His girlfriend, Evelyn Glory Joseph, was described by reporters as “very agitated” over the decision. She is pregnant with Tony’s child, which is due in January.
“He is the father of my child,” she told reporters. “The only thing I want is that he gets to see his child.”
Tony’s asylum application had been in processing for 22 months at the time the decision was made, despite the fact that Article 19 of Dublin Regulation II – an international law regarding refugee rights and treatment – requires that either deportation occur “at the latest within six months” of an application submission or that the application process for asylum be completed within “a maximum of one year”. Iceland is a signatory of this agreement.
Furthermore, legal experts DV spoke to added, according to Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, “States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child.” Iceland became a signatory of this agreement last February.
The decision to deport Tony Omos has caught the interest of the pubic, to where a protest demonstration against the decision has been organised to take place in front of the Ministry of the Interior at noon tomorrow.
The case is in many ways reminiscent of the case of Paul Ramses Odour, a Kenyan asylum seeker who was deported to Italy from Iceland in 2008, separating him from his wife and newborn child. Public protest contributed to the reversal of the decision.
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