From Iceland — Almost 1,000 Sign Petition Supporting Asylum Seeker

Almost 1,000 Sign Petition Supporting Asylum Seeker

Published April 30, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Navid Nouri

Close to 1,000 people so far have signed a petition demanding the Ministry of the Interior take an Afghan asylum seeker’s case into consideration.

Vísir reports that Ghasem Mohammadi, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, personally delivered the petition to the ministry. He has been on a hunger strike for nearly two weeks, and has only recently had water to drink.

Ghasem’s sole demand is that the ministry take his application for asylum into consideration. He has never been interviewed by government authorities, and only heard from them when he was told – after two years of waiting – that he would be deported.

The basis for his deportation is the Dublin Regulation, which gives signatory countries the right to deport asylum seekers to their previous point of departure, although these countries are not obligated to do so. However, Article 19 of said regulation also stipulates that government authorities must provide an answer within a year of the asylum application being submitted.

About 50 protesters gathered in front of the ministry yesterday in support of Ghasem. Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir met briefly with the protesters, and said that while the ministry does not normally comment on individual matters, Gashem’s particular case has prompted her to comment. She told attendees that Gashem’s case would be reviewed, and would be processed “as fast as can be possible.”

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