Iceland to Deport Chronically Ill Palestinian Boy Skip to content
Photo: Golli. Directorate of Immigration.

Iceland to Deport Chronically Ill Palestinian Boy

Icelandic authorities are set to deport a 12-year-old Palestinian boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and his parents. The deportation could deprive the boy, named Yazan, of healthcare services for 18 months, a situation that experts say will irreversibly impact his quality of life and shorten his life expectancy. The family’s lawyer is asking for the case to be reviewed again in light of Yazan’s health.

Deportation to Spain on basis of Dublin Regulation

Duchenne is one of the most severe forms of inherited muscular dystrophies. The illness leads to progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. Life expectancy of those with Duchenne is estimated to be around 25-26, though with excellent medical care, affected men often live into their 30s.

Yazan came to Iceland along with his parents around one year ago from Palestine. They travelled to Iceland through Spain, where their passports were stamped. Icelandic authorities aim to deport the family to Spain, where they have not previously resided, with the support of the Dublin Regulation. Around three weeks ago, the family was visited by staff from the Police Commissioner’s Office to prepare their deportation.

Waiting for deportation

Albert Lúðvígsson, the family’s lawyer, has asked the Immigration Appeals Board to take up Yazan’s family’s case again, as necessary documentation on the impact of the deportation on Yazan’s health had not been submitted when the case was first ruled on. He says that the board is considering his request to take the case up again, but has yet to make a ruling. “Unfortunately the situation is unchanged,” Albert told Vísir. “They are still waiting for a message rom police on when the family will be deported.”

Six disability rights and humanitarian organisations in Iceland have condemned the pending deportation: Landssamtökin Þroskahjálp (a disability services and support organisation); Duchenne samtökin (the Duchenne Association of Iceland); the charity Einstök born (Unique Children); feminist disability organisation Tabú; Réttur barna á flótta (an organisation for refugee children’s rights); and ÖBÍ, a rights association with 40 member associations.

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