Roughly two dozen asylum seekers, nearly all of them facing deportation to Greece, met at Hlemmur square in downtown Reykjavík this morning and from there, marched to Parliament and then back to Reykjavík police headquarters. All of them want to be able to stay in Iceland and fear the well-documented conditions that await refugees in Greece.
The demonstration was peaceful. No police were present in front of Parliament, nor did any police confront them when the demonstrators gathered in front of the station. In the video below, we spoke with one of the organisers of the demonstration as well as three of the asylum seekers. They expressed a love for Iceland, and told us that if they are deported to Greece—as Icelandic authorities aim to do—they will have no resources and will most likely end up living on the streets.
This is in keeping with what numerous international organisations have reported about Greece. Refugee camps there are in deplorable condition, and even those granted “protection” in Greece are cut off from services, more often than not end up homeless, and are subjected to violence—all of which is a matter of public record.
Amongst the attendees was Mohammed Alsweirki, whose case the Grapevine has covered extensively, and is also facing deportation to Greece.
You can watch the video here or below. A photo gallery of the event follows.
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!