Whilst supporting a recent court decision which awarded an asylum seeker damages for being deported to Greece, Red Cross Iceland also strongly advises against sending asylum seekers to Italy and Malta.
RÚV reports that the Red Cross has advised against deporting asylum seekers to many of the countries Iceland has deported asylum seekers to, amongst them Greece, Italy and Malta. Dublin Regulation II gives state authorities the right – although not the obligation – to send asylum seekers back to their previous point of departure.
These three countries, being very common access points into Europe for asylum seekers coming from North Africa and the Middle East, have been criticised by Amnesty International and other humans rights groups for the overcrowded and deplorable conditions refugees there are often forced to endure.
As reported, Atila Askarpour originally came to Iceland in 2009, but was sent to Greece by Icelandic authorities. His lawyer, Katrín Oddsdóttir, contended that a large part of the reason for Askarpour’s failing health in Greek custody was that he was denied immediate medical attention, despite having a growing infection in his sinuses, and that he was also denied psychological help, despite reporting being depressed and suicidal. Ultimately, the Reykjavík District Court ruled that the Icelandic government must pay Askarpour over 2 million ISK in damages for false detention and deportation without properly hearing his case.