Eze Okafor’s Fate Decided Next Month

Eze Okafor’s Fate Decided Next Month

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Photos by
No Borders

Published December 26, 2016

An asylum seeker from Nigeria, who sought asylum in Iceland but was subsequently deported to Sweden, has learned that the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) will make a formal decision on his case in January, MBL reports.

As reported, Eze came to Iceland in 2012, fleeing persecution from Boko Haram. The terrorist group had harassed, stalked, and even physically assaulted him – by stabbing him in the head, leaving a noticeable scar.

UTL denied his application for asylum on humanitarian grounds, despite such protections being granted to other asylum seekers who hailed from similar circumstances. As such, he sought to appeal.

The Grapevine was able to review a copy of the ruling the Immigration Appeals Board made on March 15. In this ruling, they referred to both international law and Supreme Court rulings which state that if an asylum seeker is not deported within six months of being denied asylum, they can no longer be deported on the grounds of the Dublin Regulation. The Board stated in this ruling that in their view, the six-month grace period had certainly passed in Eze’s case.

Despite this, Eze was contacted shortly thereafter by UTL, who told him to report to the police. He did so, and was subsequently taken into custody and then deported to Sweden.

Since then, he has been struggling to stay afloat in Sweden, while living in constant fear of being deported to Nigeria and receiving reprisals. Last July, UTL requested he send documentation demonstrating his connections to the Icelandic community. This request, while not unheard of, is very unusual in cases of those seeking asylum on humanitarian grounds. In addition, UTL normally only considers family members of the applicant when determining what a connection to Iceland entails, despite Eze having lived in Iceland for four years and having numerous friends.

Related:

A Matter Of Life And Death: The Sad, Strange Case Of Eze Okafor


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