The Althingi parliament’s general committee has written an opinion on the Ministry of Justice’s report on the position of asylum seekers in Greece and the Dublin Regulation, concluding that the conditions there are improving and that Iceland could therefore continue to send refugees there, just as the other Nordic countries.
People protesting the treatment of asylum seekers in Iceland. Photo by Zoë Robert.
However, the committee recommended that each case be evaluated individually, Fréttabladid reports.
“[The opinion] states that we are dealing with these matters in a sensible and well-balanced manner as the other Nordic counties are doing,” said chairwoman of the general committee Steinunn Valdís Óskarsdóttir.
The Ministry of Justice’s report, which was undertaken at the request of Minister of Justice Ragna Árnadóttir, had concluded that there were “serious flaws” in the treatment of asylum seekers in Greece.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is against refugees being sent back there in authority of the Dublin Regulation.
“Judging by what I have seen from the conditions in Greece, I’m surprised that people are going to go this way,” said Arnar Thór Jónsson, the lawyer representing six asylum seekers in Iceland who are at risk of being deported to Greece where they claim their lives are in danger. Most of them have been in Iceland for more than six months.
“And considering how long my clients have been in this country and how long this case has taken, it would be a matter of responsibility to send them back to Greece,” Jónsson stated. “It is not at all certain that the Greek feel that they are responsible for them.”
Click here to read more about the stories of these asylum seekers.