Wants To "Consider" Turning Asylum Seekers Away At Border - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Wants To “Consider” Turning Asylum Seekers Away At Border

Published March 1, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

An Independence Party MP is once again calling for executive measures to be taken against foreigners in Iceland.

Kjarninn reports that Independence Party MP Ásmundur Friðriksson, addressing parliament today, has put forward another open-ended question regarding curtailing the rights of foreigners in Iceland. On this occasion, he offered that Iceland should consider turning asylum seekers away upon arrival at the airport.

He complained, on top of this, that he knows from “personal experience” that “it is difficult to take part in this discussion [on this issue]. You get torn apart by ‘the good people’ and the media if you dare open your mouth and have an opinion. People in this country dare not have a public opinion about this matter.”

Here, Ásmundur is referring to remarks he made in January 2015, when he suggested that all 1,500 of Iceland’s Muslims should maybe be investigated to see if any of them ever went to a terrorist training camp. At the time, he defended the remarks by saying he was just asking questions about whether or not they should be investigated.

The Icelandic people, despite today’s contentions from Ásmundur, did dare to have a public opinion about the matter. He received harsh criticism from across the political spectrum, with even members of his own party describing his opinions as “idiocy”.

As such, it is unlikely Ásmundur’s calls for a discussion on closing the borders will be heeded, let alone implemented.


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