Asylum Seeker Concerned about the Future Skip to content

Asylum Seeker Concerned about the Future

By Iceland Review

The condition of Mehdi Kavyanpoor (spelled Kavyan Pour in earlier stories), the Iranian asylum seeker who threatened to set himself aflame inside the office of the Icelandic Red Cross on Friday, is good, given the circumstances, according to his lawyer Helga Vala Helgadóttir.


People protesting the condition of asylum seekers after a hunger strike in 2009. Photo by Zoë Robert.

Kavyanpoor was sentenced to a two-week confinement in a psychiatric ward. “He is of course very concerned about his position. But he is being given proper treatment because he has, of course, been under an inhumane strain,” Helgadóttir told Morgunbladid on Tuesday.

His compos mentis will be evaluated but the process has not begun yet and Kavyanpoor hasn’t had a formal meeting with a psychiatrist.

According to information from the police, he is not under any special protection in the psychiatric ward. He will not be charged until it is clear whether he is compos mentis.

Kavyanpoor arrived in Iceland in 2005 and has had a preliminary residence permit since 2008, which is issued every six months. Helgadóttir explained the permit involves that he can work and pay taxes, which he has done.

However, he has not been a fully-acknowledged member of the community in that he has no legal rights.

According to the Icelandic Red Cross, between 15 and 20 asylum seekers have preliminary residence permits in Iceland, which are issued while their applications are being processed.

Click here to read more about Kavyanpoor’s story.

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