On Friday, the Reykjavík District Court acquitted the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) from charges pressed on behalf of Tony Omos, whose application for asylum in Iceland will thereby not be taken to consideration.
A demonstration has been announced on Saturday, to protest the ruling.
After being deported from Iceland in 2013, Omos resides in Italy, while his significant other, Evelyn Glory Joseph, remains in Iceland. Interviewed by DV on Friday, Omos said that lately he has been on the street and begs for food. “I don’t understand why this is done to me. I don’t understand why I cannot see my son,” he said.
Tony Omos is the man, about whom the memo was written, which the former Minister of the Interior’s assistant leaked to the media late 2013, eventually leading to the Minister’s resignation. Omos, from Nigera, fled Nigeria in 2001 and requested asylum in Iceland in 2011. In 2012, his application was dismissed without consideration, on the basis of the so-called Dublin regulation: As Omos had applied for asylum in Switzerland in 2008, the ruling stated that he should be deported to Switzerland. The decision was appealed to the Ministry of the Interior, but in 2013, the ministry validated the dismissal.
In the meantime, Omos had entered a relationship with a woman in Iceland, Evelyn Glory Joseph, who became pregnant. The assistant leaked the memo the day before an announced demonstration by the Ministry, to demand that Omos’s application be at least materially considered.
The leaked document included sensitive information and unsubstantiated slander about Omos’s and Joseph’s private affairs. The now former assistant has since stated that the aim of his unlawful action was to affect media attention. Shortly after the leak, Omos was deported, with no notice, in the middle of the night, which apparently accords to protocol.
The Reykjavík District Court’s ruling means that UTL’s original decision remains valid, and Tony Omos will not be granted a residence permit in Iceland. Speaking with Vísir, Omos’s counsel and prosecutor in the case, Stefán Karl Kristjánsson, said that he will deliberate carefully whether to appeal the ruling to the High Court.
Omos has since resided in Italy. “Right from the beginning they wanted me to leave,” he said to DV. “They tried everything they could to get me out of the country. I feel like someone has something against me, like some people are working against me.” He says he only wants to see his son. “It would make me happy because my heart is broken.”
Neither Tony Omos nor Evelyn Glory Joseph have received an apology from the Ministry, neither after the leak, nor after courts found the Minister’s assistant guilty.