A demonstration will be held at the Directorate of Immigration this Thursday, calling for the end of deportations on the grounds of the Dublin Regulation.
The protest, being organised by No Borders Iceland, calls upon the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) to stop deporting asylum seekers on the grounds of the Dublin Regulation, an international agreement which gives signatory states the right – although not the obligation – to return asylum seekers back to their previous point of departure. As there are typically no direct flights from war-torn parts of the world to Iceland, the vast majority of asylum seekers to Iceland are summarily deported back to the previous European country they came from.
“The conduct of UTL has shown that the institution is beyond reform,” the protest statement reads in part. “It has inherited the policy and practice of its forebear, the immigration surveillance, which was founded in order to spy on foreigners and essentially stopping them from settling in Iceland. As can be seen in the UTL’s reports, the institution looks at its role as one of policing, not service to those who want to reside here. Lately it has been exceptionally detrimental, with letting people wait here for years and then eventually deporting them back to Europe. It is time to shut down this institution and start over again, with another institution that will be based on more professional grounds.”
The Dublin Regulation is a controversial one, as it has created bottlenecks at asylum seeker entry points across Europe. Most recently, Germany opted to stop using the regulation against Syrian refugees. Amongst others, Director of Humanitarian Operations at the Icelandic Red Cross Þórir Guðmundsson agrees Iceland should drop the Dublin Regulation.
The protest will take place at UTL, located at Skógarhlíð 6, at noon Thursday.