Syrian Asylum Seekers To Be Sent To Bulgaria - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Syrian Asylum Seekers To Be Sent To Bulgaria

Published March 4, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Two asylum seekers from Syria are to be deported to Bulgaria, despite international condemnation of asylum seeker treatment in Bulgaria.

Stundin reports that Ahmad Aldzasem and Wajden S. Rmmo, two Syrians who sought asylum in Iceland, are to be deported this Tuesday to Bulgaria. The Directorate of Immigration made their decision based on the two having been granted asylum in that country, although they attest this “granting” of asylum was done under pressure of torture.

“I was arrested by the Bulgarian police and put in solitary for 13 days,” Ahmad attests. “I was beaten and forced to let them take my fingerprints so I could receive asylum in Bulgaria. But I didn’t want asylum in Bulgaria. They told me that I had to take it. If I did not obey, they would have kept me in prison. When I was released, I received papers that let me stay in Bulgaria. I got a job and worked 18, 19 hours a day, but was never paid. I knew that I had to go elsewhere.”

When asked what prompted him to choose Iceland, Ahmad said, “I’ve had enough of war and wanted to get as far away from the fighting as I could. I heard someone talking about Iceland when I was in Bulgaria, and went to the next internet café to read about the country. I learned that Iceland is a very safe country and wanted to come here.”

Unfortunately, the Bulgarian asylum is the excuse used by the Directorate of Immigration to deport him and Wajden. This is despite condemnation from Amnesty International about the horrible conditions asylum seekers are forced to endure there.

“I know that people have been given asylum or residence permits in this country who don’t come from war-town countries,” Wajden said. “Our country is in ruins. Why does no one want to help us?”


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