From Iceland — Interior Minister Will Postpone Deportation Of Two Asylum Seekers

Interior Minister Will Postpone Deportation Of Two Asylum Seekers

Published October 5, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Arpingstone/Wikimedia Commons

The Minister of the Interior told parliament she will tell authorities to postpone the scheduled deportation of two asylum seekers.

Vísir reports that Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal, responding to a question posed to her by opposition party members of the Parliamentary General Committee, told parliament that she has told the Directorate of Immigration to postpone the deportation of two asylum seekers. In the meantime, she says, their cases will be reviewed.

As reported, last Friday the Supreme Court ruled that two asylum seekers – who filed for asylum in Iceland over three years ago – are to be deported to Italy, in accordance with the Dublin Regulation, which allows countries to deport asylum seekers to their previous point of departure. In light of this, Ólöf was asked if she was still of the same opinion she expressed to parliament on September 17; that Greece, Italy and Hungary are “not considered secure countries. It would not be safe to send asylum seekers back there”.

Nigerian Martin Omulu and Ghanaian Christian Kwaku Boadi have both waited over three years for any conclusion of their applications, despite the fact that Article 19 of Dublin Regulation II requires that either deportation occur “at the latest within six months” of an application submission or that the application process for asylum be completed within “a maximum of one year.” Martin faces persecution and possibly death in his home country, on account of being gay, while Christian – whose father was murdered – is afraid a similar fate awaits him back home.

Many human rights groups who work closely with refugees and asylum seekers, from Amnesty International to the Icelandic Red Cross, have criticised the deplorable conditions refugees in Italy live in. In fact, EU leaders are currently looking for ways to get refugees out of Italy.

Ólöf also said that the waiting times for asylum application processing have been “far too long,” and “a better job needs to be done to speed up the process”.

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