Residence Permits Granted To Colombian Refugees - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Residence Permits Granted To Colombian Refugees

Published March 25, 2014

Photos by
althingi.is

After facing certain deportation only weeks previous, an elderly woman, her daughter, and her seven-year-old granddaughter have been granted residence permits in Iceland.

RÚV reports that the three – all originally from Colombia – were granted residence permits to remain in Iceland for humanitarian reasons.

As reported, the three originally came to Iceland fleeing terror squads in Colombia. The elderly woman’s son-in-law was murdered by these squads, and she herself was kidnapped and extorted by them. The Directorate of Immigration (UTL) decided that this did not constitute a strong enough threat to warrant asylum in Iceland.

The lawyer for the three, Katrín Oddsdóttir, told reporters she believed UTL tried to reach a negative conclusion beforehand, saying, “I think that, unfortunately, when I read this decision, that they were trying to focus on arriving at a negative conclusion, rather than seeing the whole picture.”

Public support also reached out to authorities, with a petition set up calling upon Minister of the Interior  to grant asylum to the three. UTL falls under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry.

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