Fate of Asylum Seeker on Ship Unknown Skip to content

Fate of Asylum Seeker on Ship Unknown

The fate of the asylum seeker who was caught onboard the research vessel Knorr en route from Iceland to the US are unknown. The ship is scheduled to arrive in Massachusetts today.


An Eimskip cargo vessel. Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The man is a 20-year-old Algerian who came to Iceland in December 2011 and applied for asylum, ruv.is reports.

He had applied for asylum in a different Nordic country on an earlier occasion and therefore the Directorate of Immigration in Iceland decided to send him back there under the Dublin Regulation.

The Directorate of Immigration made its decision known to the asylum seeker in early May. He filed an appeal, which is currently at the Ministry of the Interior.

The man is free to apply for asylum in the US but it is in the hands of local immigration authorities whether they accept his application.

It is likely that the man will be sent back to Iceland, on the basis of regulations of the International Maritime Organization on stowaways.

Two men were arrested last night after attempting to enter a security area in Sundahöfn harbor in Reykjavík. The police report that they are asylum seekers from Afghanistan, born in 1992 and 1994, and were trying to sneak onboard an Eimskip cargo vessel.

The same men were caught in Sundahöfn one week ago. They admitted to having been trying to leave the country and were taken back to the hostel for asylum seekers in Reykjanesbær last week. But this time they had to spend a night in prison, ruv.is reports.

Information officer of Eimskip Ólafur William Hand told ruv.is that the attempted stowaways have cost the company tens of millions of ISK.

“We have had to put up more security cameras and cover various other costs which include making reports when we file charges because of these break-ins,” Ólafur said.

He would like authorities to cease defining people who repeatedly try to sneak onboard ships as asylum seekers. “We don’t consider people as asylum seekers who use Iceland as a springboard to get across to the US and Canada. Asylum seekers are those who seek a better life for themselves in Iceland.”

The processing time of asylum seeker cases in Iceland has been the subject of criticism.

Click here to read more about the stowaway and the affairs of other asylum seekers in Iceland.


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