Seven protestors were arrested outside the home of Haukur Gudmundsson, head of the Directorate of Immigration, yesterday. Between 20 and 30 people participated in the demonstration, protesting against the treatment of asylum seekers in Iceland.
Eyewitnesses told Morgunbladid that the protests had been peaceful until police asked demonstrators to leave the area. Seven protestors did not comply with the police’s demands and were subsequently arrested.
Gudmundsson, who had met with the group of protestors on an earlier occasion to discuss the position of asylum seekers in Iceland, was not at home during the demonstration.
“I had decided to neither allow protestors to make me a hostage in my own home nor allow them to force me to leave it,” Gudmundsson said. “I was simply at a confirmation party, like so many others on this day, and decided not to let [the protests] disturb me.”
Yesterday was Palm Sunday, a traditional day for Lutheran confirmations in Iceland.
Gudmundsson said the cause does not justify the means in this instance. “The cause aside, which is certainly worthy in many aspects, society cannot accept that people gather outside the homes of certain individuals who are involved in difficult cases, regardless of whether they are judges, policemen or journalists. Such actions could end badly.”
Click here to read more about actions taken to protect the rights of asylum seekers in Iceland.