Arrest of Refugee Raises Critique Skip to content

Arrest of Refugee Raises Critique

By Erik Pomrenke

deportation iceland
Photo: Directorate of Immigration, Screenshot, GoogleMaps.

Freyja Haraldsdóttir, an advocate for the disabled in the capital area, said that the rights of a disabled refugee were not respected when he was arrested last night, November 2.

A lawyer representing the man is now preparing a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights, according to Vísir.

Read more: Twelve Deported Under Police Escort Since May

The man, originally from Iraq, is in Iceland with a family of five, all of whom were scheduled to be deported to Greece last night. This is alongside several other deportation-related arrests that have been made in the last week, with several refugees and asylum seekers now in police custody.

He is also wheelchair-bound and has received important medical treatment during his time in Iceland. His entire family was arrested yesterday and taken to a hotel in Hafnafjörður for their deportation, but the man was later removed from the hotel by police officers.

Freyja Haraldsdóttir has stated to Vísir that the man’s rights were violated when he has not provided with an advocate. As a disabled person, Freyja stated, he was in a particularly vulnerable position: “He has the right to have a lawyer to support him, both to inform him about what is going on and what the next steps are, to ensure that he understands everything that is going on, make sure that he can speak his mind, and make sure that appropriate accommodations are made so that he does not suffer harm in his situation.”

The incident has sparked controversy on social media, with a photo depicting police officers forcibly removing the man from his wheelchair in wide circulation.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!