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Signatures for Albanian Family

When an Albanian family was denied asylum in Iceland, Illugi Jökulsson decided to start collecting signatures in the family’s support. This morning, he delivered 10,000 of them to the Directorate of Immigration Vísir reports.

The decision of the Directorate to deny the Telati family of five asylum has been appealed and a decision is expected within weeks or months.

After delivering the list of signatures, Illugi spoke with Director of Immigration Kristín Völundardóttir. She explained the Directorate’s point of view, which is that no other decision could be made since the law must be followed. The Directorate has stated that since Albania is considered a peaceful country, and not part of the European Economic Area, obtaining asylum is not simple. The parents have been offered jobs at a restaurant, but that in itself is not sufficient.

Helga Vala Helgadóttir, a lawyer who specializes in the affairs of immigrants, believes the best solution would have been to grant the family asylum based on humanitarian grounds.

Skúli Á. Sigurðsson, a lawyer for the Directorate of Immigration reports that asylum is very rarely granted in Iceland based on those grounds.

Illugi remarked, “If one man can collect 10,000 signatures on Facebook in two or three days, telling the Directorate of Immigration it has made a mistake, then I think the institution should admit its mistake.”

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