The story of missing asylum seeker Tony Omos – and the Ministry of the Interior’s treatment of his case – has taken a curious turn.
Tony Omos, an asylum seeker from Nigeria, is facing deportation from Iceland, but is currently in hiding. His girlfriend, Evelyn Glory Joseph, is pregnant with his child and has said that both she and Tony are willing to take a paternity test to prove such.
The decision to deport Tony has sparked a public outcry. Yesterday, a document was issued from the ministry to members of the press contending that Tony was connected to a human trafficking case earlier this summer, and that he is not actually the father of Evelyn’s expected child. The document contended furthermore that Evelyn was pressured by Tony to say he is the child’s father. Evelyn has denied that any of the ministry’s contentions are true.
However, DV now reports that Gísli Freyr Valdórsson – the assistant to the Minister of the Interior – says that the document in question does not exist within ministry files, speculating that a ministry employee simply leaked personal information to the media on their own accord.
“I am baffled as to how very personal information about my client stumbled into the media without her knowledge or consent,” Katrín Oddsdóttir, Evelyn’s lawyer, told reporters. She added that she considers the leak a violation of privacy.
Stefán Karl Kristjánsson, Tony’s lawyer, spoke in the same vein as Katrín, adding, “My client was investigated, denied the charges against him, and within the documents it shows that the investigation was dropped.”
Tony’s asylum application had been in processing for 22 months at the time the decision to deport him 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.