Published October 27, 2016
Germany is part of a European agreement to deport Afghan asylum seekers back to Afghanistan, and one Afghan couple in Iceland are currently fighting against being deported to Germany.
The Grapevine has received word that Ali Bahram and Mahdya Ismail, a young couple originally from Afghanistan, have been living in Iceland since last January. They have sought asylum here, on the grounds that they are wanted in their home country for getting married – Ali is Shia, while Mahdya is Sunni, and such unions are strictly prohibited in Afghanistan, the punishment for which is death. Further complicating the issue is the fact that Ali is Hazara, a persecuted ethnicity in Afghanistan, while Mahdya is Tajik.
However, they got a visa for and stopped in Germany on their way to Iceland, and as such, the Directorate of Immigration has rejected their case on the grounds of the Dublin Regulation – and international agreement which gives signatory countries that power to deport asylum seekers back to their previous point of departure. Their appeals have also been rejected by the Immigration Appeals Board, with the last such decision made earlier this month.
Around this same time, the European Union sign a deal with the Afghan government, whereby EU countries can now deport a limitless number of Afghan asylum seekers back to their home country.
As such, Ali and Mahdya are terrified that a deportation to Germany will spell a deportation back to Afghanistan, where they fear for their very lives. Mahdya has been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety by local medical authorities.
The two now face impending deportation and are fearful that, pending some kind of intervention from Icelandic authorities, they will end up right back in the same dangerous situation they originally fled.