Gathered to Protest Yazan’s Deportation Skip to content

Gathered to Protest Yazan’s Deportation

By Yelena

Protest against 11-year-old Yazan Tamimi's deportation, June 23, 2024
Photo: Jelena Ćirić. Protest against 11-year-old Yazan Tamimi’s deportation, June 23, 2024.

A group of locals gathered in front of Iceland’s Parliament yesterday afternoon to protest the pending deportation of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy and his family. The boy, named Yazan Tamimi, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair. Experts say the deportation would impact his access to necessary medical care.

Deportation to Spain

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.

Requires uninterrupted treatment

Doctor Guðjón Reykdal Óskarsson, Iceland’s foremost expert on Duchenne, who also has the illness himself, made a speech at the protest. “I believe that his treatment must be continued uninterrupted and that is by far the best thing for this illness,” he told reporters from RÚV. Others with Duchenne and loved ones of people with Duchenne were also present at the protest.

Yazan’s father and uncle also attended the protest. Yazan himself was unable to be there as he was admitted to hospital recently. Speakers at the protest stated that the pending deportation has had a negative impact on his mental and physical health.

Questions Directorate of Immigration’s evaluation

“Without treatment, boys [with Duchenne] don’t live past their teens,” stated Guðjón. “I find it strange that doctors at the Directorate of Immigration say that this is not a serious illness. If you have gone through medical school, and I have gone through pharmacology and genetics, every single textbook names this illness as particularly serious. When I heard he would be deported I was filled with fear.”

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!