Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir told protesters who arrived at her office today that she would process an Afghan asylum seeker’s application “as fast as can be possible”.
Vísir reports that about 50 protesters gathered in front of the ministry to protest the case of Gashem Mohammadi, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan who arrived in Iceland about two years ago. Gashem has been in the hospital for nine days now, and is currently on a hunger strike due to a decision made by the ministry to deport him. He has demanded that his case be at least considered by authorities.
Hanna Birna 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.”
As reported, the decision to deport Gashem is based on 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.