Icelandic State To Pay Damages To Woman Who Was Deported While Nine Months Pregnant

Icelandic State To Pay Damages To Woman Who Was Deported While Nine Months Pregnant

Published June 24, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
No Borders Iceland

The Icelandic government has admitted liability in the deporting of an Albanian woman in 2019 who was nine months pregnant at the time, despite medical personnel advising against her being deported in her condition, Vísir reports.

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As reported, the family in question was visited by police during the night in November 2019 and suddenly informed that they were going to be deported. The mother of the family, after being examined at the maternity ward of a local hospital, received certification that she was unfit to fly. Furthermore, the family’s case was still pending review and a final decision from the Immigration Appeals Board. Ultimately, a doctor working on behalf of the Directorate of Immigration contended she was in good enough shape to be deported and the whole family–father, heavily pregnant mother and two-year-old child–were arrested and delivered to the airport.

The deportation drew strong criticism from the Directorate of Health, the Bishop of Iceland, numerous members of Parliament, and others. On Wednesday, the group Réttur Barna Á Flótta confirmed that the government’s admission of liability was based on the Directorate of Health coming to the decision that the Directorate of Immigration’s doctor had broken the law by issuing a so-called “fit to fly” certificate for this woman.

The woman’s lawyer, Claudia Ashonie Wilson, further confirmed the liability admission, but would not disclose how much money the Icelandic state would be paying.

“This incident will hopefully wake up the Icelandic government to consider and ensure the humane treatment of those individuals seeking international protection in this country,” she said. “We seem to forget sometimes that we’re talking about people, individuals just like us, who are in great need.”

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