Icelandic State Sued Over Torture of Iranian Refugee Skip to content

Icelandic State Sued Over Torture of Iranian Refugee

Icelandic authorities subjected 41-year-old Iranian refugee Mohammad Askarpour to inhumane and disrespectful treatment that equals torture when he came to Iceland in 2009 to apply for asylum, according to his lawyer Katrín Oddsdóttir. Askarpour is suing the state for damages.


The Government Offices of Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The Directorate of Immigration sent Askarpour back to Greece in accordance with the Dublin II Regulation. The decision was rebuffed because the facilities of the refugee camp in Greece were considered inhumane. Even so, Askarpour was made to stay there for more than a year before he was brought back to Iceland, reports.

Katrín believes that incomplete healthcare service, including lack of psychological aid, is the reason for Askarpour having ended up in the psychiatric ward in Iceland. Also, an infection of the sinuses which caused severe headaches was not treated because it wasn’t considered urgent.

“He has not been given sufficient healthcare service, he has not been given what Icelanders consider absolute minimum rights to live. He is considered some kind of second-class person in our society,” Katrín claimed.

She stated that her client will never fully recover and therefore the Icelandic state is being sued for damages. An application for free legal aid has been submitted.

“It is of course terrible to be suing the Icelandic state over torture. That the Icelandic administration isn’t more efficient than this, that we have to file a lawsuit against the state to get the full attention of the authorities. That it isn’t enough for a person to be in such a poor state. That he isn’t simply lent a hand before such actions are undertaken,” Katrín concluded.

Click here to read about recent controversy concerning asylum seekers.


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