About 30 protesters converged on the Ministry of the Interior today to protest another deportation decision made by the Directorate of Immigration. One of the organisers explained their demands for Grapevine.
In light of a recent decision from the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) to deport two Syrian asylum seekers to Bulgaria tomorrow, a protest was held today at the Directorate of Immigration to protest the decision.
Hjalti Hrafn Hafþórsson, one of the organisers of the event, told Grapevine that their demands are simple, and based on the words of the Interior Ministry.
“We demand that the Interior Ministry take responsibility,” he said. “They need to stop pointing the finger at UTL every time they make a deportation decision.” As the Directorate falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry, the Ministry does have the authority to reverse their decisions. “They can choose to interpret the law, such as the law on the grounds for granting asylum for humanitarian reasons.”
In fact, the Interior Ministry has overruled deportation decisions before. On this occasion, protesters were greeted by a public relations official for the Ministry, who said he would pass the demands onto the Minister. He also requested the demand be sent by email, so that they could be responded to in writing. Readers will be updated when a response arrives.
As reported, the two Syrian asylum seekers were denied asylum on the grounds that they were granted it in Bulgaria. This is despite not only the testimony of the asylum seekers that they were jailed, beaten, and forced to apply for asylum there, but also despite international condemnation for how asylum seekers are treated in that country.
It is not known at this time if the deportation decision will be delayed. If it proceeds as scheduled, the two will be put on a plane tomorrow.