From Iceland — Parliamentary Ombudsman Gives Immigration Directorate More Time

Parliamentary Ombudsman Gives Immigration Directorate More Time

Published January 15, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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The Directorate of Immigration now has until February 1 to respond to official inquiries about their handling of an asylum seeker case.

RÚV reports that the Directorate, which was supposed to respond to the inquiry today, requested the extension themselves, which was summarily granted.

As reported, the Parliamentary Ombudsman specifically wants to know how or if the Directorate of Immigration assessed whether the families in question qualified for asylum for humanitarian reasons, as Article 12 f of the Act on Foreigners allows.

Both families have at least one child with serious health conditions; one with a three-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis, and the other with a one-year-old son with a heart condition.

However, as the Ombudsman points out in his letter, Directorate of Immigration Director Kristín Völundardóttir said in an interview with RÚV that both families were deported on the grounds that the families could just as easily receive adequate health care in Albania. At the same time, she also said she did not know if the Directorate had assessed whether or not the children in question could actually receive health care.

An Icelandic doctor was amongst those who criticised the deportation decision, likening it to a death sentence for the children in question. The Director was given until January 15 to respond to the Ombudsman’s letter.

In the intervening time, both Albanian families were awarded citizenship by parliament and, last Tuesday, arrived again in Iceland.

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