Police Will Increase Surveillance Of Foreigners After All - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Police Will Increase Surveillance Of Foreigners After All

Published March 24, 2016

Main photo by
Becky Conway

Despite assurances to the contrary, police will be checking the backgrounds of select foreigners in response to the Brussels attacks.

As reported, the National Commissioner of the Police, in conjunction with the Chief of the Suðurnes Police, have decided to increase police armaments at Keflavík International Airport. This decision was made in direct response to the series of attacks which took place in Brussels earlier this week.

National Police Commissioner Haraldar Johannesen told RÚV that police will be armed at the airport, equipped with bomb-sniffing dogs and assisted by Special Forces. He added that police activities will not focus on foreigners or any specific group in society.

However, Vísir now reports that the Commissioner has issued a directive to all police chiefs in the country to cross-check “individuals that they have interacted with” to see if they are listed in any “Interpol or Schengen information systems”. Police working near points of entry to the country are told to pay special attention to “possibly falsified travel documents”, thereby deliberately singling out foreigners for scrutiny.

In fact, asylum seekers to Iceland sometimes arrive with false or expired passports. These asylum seekers are usually arrested upon arrival, in violation of international law and to the condemnation of the Red Cross and the Director of Prisons, amongst others. As such, they may be especially vulnerable to investigation.

For the record, all three suspects in the Brussels attacks were Belgian – not even foreigners to the country, let alone asylum seekers.

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