The Icelandic government is preparing to deport about 300 people from countries that applied for international protection in Iceland more than two years ago. Very many of these people are sent to Greece with suspicious legality for false reasons. This plan is strongly opposed by the Red Cross and opposition parties.

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Justice Minister Yong Gunnarsson defended the move by saying that these people were illegally in the country. Their case would have been rejected by the Immigration Department (ÚTL) and deported earlier, but the pandemic prevented this from happening. He added that many of these asylum seekers prevented their deportation by refusing to submit to coronavirus screening.

In particular, opposition parties have pointed out flaws in the minister’s debate.

Greek situation

“They are rooting people and sending them to the streets of Greece,” Social Democratic Parliamentarian Johann Pal Johanson said in parliament yesterday, many of these people making a living for themselves. Mentioned the fact that there is. In Iceland. “This is completely unacceptable and we must not allow it to happen. That’s exactly what it is.”

For many, Iceland is already facing a serious labor shortage, requiring 9,000 people in the tourism market alone, and it seems doubtful to deport hundreds of people who have established their lives in Iceland. It is pointed out that it seems to be. The documented case of the situation facing refugees in Greece is another matter.

The situation in Greece is well documented for both asylum seekers and refugees. As many examples, the November 2020 report, The Report on the Living Conditions of Greek International Protection Beneficiaries, terribly describes the situation in the country, stating: The living conditions of refugees recognized as asylum seekers in Greece are extremely dire and may correspond to “inhuman or degrading treatment” under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 4 of the Charter of the European Convention. Already claim to be. Article 7 of the International Covenant on Basic Rights, or Civil and Political Rights. Therefore, it prevents people from returning to the country according to the Non-Rufur principle. “

Therefore, these deportations to Greece may violate Icelandic law and international agreements. Personal testimony of the refugee experience in Greece sheds more light on the situation in Greece, along with a lawyer who characterizes the treatment of refugees in Greece as “protection without protection.”

Question of how the case was judged

Ú TL informed the media that their hands were tied in response to civilian protests against deportation to Greece. The law actually prohibits the investigation of asylum claims from persons from countries already given international protection, unless there are special circumstances. It refers to Chapter 4, Article 36 of the Alien Law on International Protection.

However, refugees arriving in Greece are forced to apply for asylum there, even if they do not intend to stay there. In addition, there are exceptions to Chapter 4, Article 36. The penultimate paragraph of this same article also says: [the first paragraph of Article 36] The application shall be considered as it may lead to a breach of Article 42 depending on the circumstances of the country to which the applicant is sent. Article 42 clearly states: “The law does not allow foreigners or stateless persons to be sent to areas where there is reason to fear persecution … or in imminent risk because of a situation similar to the concept of refugees. You are exposed. You are being treated as dying, inhumane, or degrading. “

The Red Cross strongly opposes

Apart from parliamentary opposition, the Icelandic Red Cross also opposed mass deportation plans, primarily for two reasons.

First of all, as pointed out by Silja BáraÓmarsdóttir, director of the Red Cross, the Icelandic government is effectively tackling discrimination based on nationality, which is inconsistent with the national constitution. She also pointed out that the Icelandic government did not properly apply the so-called Dublin Agreement. This is an international agreement that gives signatories the right to return asylum seekers to their former origins.

“It was established to ensure that applicants for international protection receive a substantive review of their case,” she said. “We use it to send people back to the first country. [they departed from] We have rights, but no obligations. “

Second, as pointed out by Red Cross spokesperson Brinhildur Boradottil, the situation of Greek refugees is still unsatisfactory. In addition, ÞórunnÓlafsdóttir, who has worked with refugees in Greece, added that they are designed to live in inhumane situations.

“It’s well known that people with international protection live there on the streets,” she said. “They are in the last row when it comes to housing and employment. Even children grow up on the streets and in tent camps. There is nothing safe about being in Greece. [as a refugee].. “

It is not yet known if the government will pass these deportations.

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