Five men, all of whom are thought to be asylum seekers, were caught when they tried to sneak onboard the transport vessel Reykjafoss in Sundahöfn harbor in Reykjavík last night, which was bound for North America.
A transport vessel. Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The police were called to the scene. They captured one of the stowaways but the others escaped. The man was not carrying any ID but had packed food and water for the journey, visir.is reports.
The man was taken to detention and will be questioned today with the assistance of an interpreter. The whereabouts of the other stowaways is unknown.
As for other asylum seekers, Bilal Fathi, the younger of the two teens who were arrested upon their arrival to the country in April for presenting falsified passports, appeared in an interview on Stöð 2 yesterday, visir.is reports.
Bilal is from Morocco and not Algeria as originally reported and says he will turn 16 in September. He spent nine days in prison in Iceland before he was placed with a foster family. He described the experience as horrible but says he now he feels safe.
Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson said at the Icelandic parliament, Alþingi, yesterday that the police in Suðurnes had acted in accordance with the law when the two Moroccan teens were arrested for arriving to the country on falsified passports.
However, the laws on asylum seekers are flawed and must be reviewed next autumn, he added. UNICEF yesterday urged the government to respect the Children’s Rights and Refugee Treaties of the United Nations in the case of the two boys, Fréttablaðið reports.
Click here to read more about this story and here to watch the interview with his foster father, Salman Tamimi (in Icelandic).