Residence Permits Granted To Colombian Refugees - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Residence Permits Granted To Colombian Refugees

Published March 25, 2014

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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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