From Iceland — Mass Protest Tomorrow Against Deportation Of Two Families

Mass Protest Tomorrow Against Deportation Of Two Families

Published September 8, 2017

Two highly controversial deportation decisions, which have sparked concerted public objections, are the subject of a protest to be held in front of Parliament tomorrow.

The protest in question, “Not In Our Name”, will be held in front of Parliament at 15:00 tomorrow. The protest concerns two families who have both been recently informed by immigration authorities that their applications for asylum have exhausted all appeals. They are scheduled to be deported in the coming days.

The first family concerns Abrahim Maleki and his 11-year-old daughter Haniye. Abrahim has been on the run from Afghanistan for the past 20 years now, and Haniye was born a refugee with no legal national status. They face persecution and almost certain death in their native country. Despite the fact that the Immigration Appeals Board ruled that the father and daughter are in a precarious position, the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) has nonetheless ruled to deport them.

The second case concerns Joy, Mary and Sunday, asylum seekers from Nigeria. Mary is eight years old, and currently attending school for the first time in her life. Mary, her mother, is a survivor of human trafficking who managed to escape her situation and Sunday, Mary’s father, has fled armed conflict in his home country. During their flight, they have dealt with threats and persecution, and for a time lived on the streets of Italy, begging for food. While immigration authorities determined they were in too precarious a position to be sent back to Italy, they nonetheless came to the conclusion that they did not qualify for asylum. They now face deportation to Nigeria, a country where Mary has never lived.

Asylum seeker rights group Solaris points out that Iceland has encoded in its laws the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Refugee Convention, all of which directly or indirectly prohibit deportations of this nature.

In addition, in 2007 the Icelandic parliament overwhelmingly approved a parliamentary measure to adopt the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, ratified in Warsaw in 2005.

As such, Icelanders intend to take the matter directly to Parliament tomorrow, urging authorities to grant asylum to these families.

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