From Iceland — Another Asylum Seeker On Hunger Strike

Another Asylum Seeker On Hunger Strike

Published October 13, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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An asylum seeker currently on a hunger strike is facing deportation from Iceland, and authorities have so far refused to even review his case.

Kvennablaðið reports that Iz El Din Med Mouhammed, an asylum seeker from Sudan, is facing deportation to Italy based on the Dublin Regulation, without his case being reviewed. As such, he is currently on a hunger strike, which began September 18 – the day after Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal told parliament that Greece, Italy and Hungary are “not considered secure countries. It would not be safe to send asylum seekers back there”.

Mouhammed is now under the care of a doctor, and being supervised as a possible suicide or starvation risk. Despite this, the Immigration Appeals Board – who were first informed of Mouhammed’s condition when he had been two weeks into his hunger strike – replied that they did not have the time to review his case. Requests to expedite his case were also denied.

“I am afraid this man will end up paying with his life,” his lawyer, Katrín Oddsdóttir, told Kvennablaðið.

Mouhammed originally hails from the notorious Darfur region of Sudan, and has been on the run since he was eight years old. Although his exact age is unknown, dental examinations determined he was no older than 19.7 years old (with an 18-month margin of error) at the time of the exam, and may have been under the age of 18 when he arrived in Iceland from Italy. Asylum seekers under the age of 18 receive special treatment and consideration for asylum, as they are considered children.

As reported, the Interior Minister recently postponed the deportation of two asylum seekers to Italy, and called for their cases to be re-examined, on account of the terrible conditions asylum seekers and refugees endure in that country. Whether the same logic will be applied to Mouhammed’s case – and others – still remains to be seen.

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