From Iceland — Hunger-Striking Iranian Asylum Seeker Deported Without Notice, Lawyer Never Notified

Hunger-Striking Iranian Asylum Seeker Deported Without Notice, Lawyer Never Notified

Published September 10, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Amin Ghayszadeh

Amin Ghayszadeh, an asylum seeker from Iran who had been on a hunger strike since August 23rd, was suddenly arrested Sunday evening and deported yesterday, Fréttablaðið reports, without even his lawyer being alerted to the arrest.

As reported, Amin left Iran five years ago, after his family disowned him for showing an interest in Christianity, and his criticism of the Iranian government also drew the ire of authorities. Like many other asylum seekers fleeing the Middle East, he ended up in Greece. There he received the treatment most refugees to Greece receive: he was detained, and forced to apply for asylum in the country or remain in prison.

This particular point is crucial, as it was used by the Directorate of Immigration (ÚTL) as a reason to deport him; ignoring the fact that he was forced to apply for asylum in Greece or remain imprisoned, ÚTL is treating the case as if he had voluntarily applied for asylum in Greece. Furthermore, the deplorable conditions of refugee camps in Greece have been a matter of public record for years. These deportations are in violation of both Icelandic law and international agreements of which Iceland is a signatory country.

Amin’s mental health is also suffering greatly, and he has emphasised in his asylum application in Iceland that this is one of the main reasons why he cannot return to Greece.

His lawyer, Magnús D. Norðdahl, pointed out to reporters that ÚTL’s own rules detail that close associates of any deportee are to be alerted of the impending deportation date with at least two days notice. As such, ÚTL broke their own rules in how this deportation was executed.

Further updates on Amin’s location and condition are still pending.

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