A 14 or 15-year-old boy from Western Sahara arrived as a stowaway with the Norraena ferry in Seydisfjördur in east Iceland yesterday morning and has now requested refuge in Iceland due to disturbances in his home country.
The Norraena ferry in Seydisfjördur. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The boy, who is believed to have hidden on the car deck, walked ashore with other passengers and then came forward to a customs officer. The ferry was coming from Esbjerg in Denmark with a stopover in the Faroe Islands, Morgunbladid reports.
According to Fréttabladid, the boy was wearing light clothing when he arrived to the country, only jeans and a t-shirt.
The stowaway was interrogated by police officers in Egilsstadir yesterday. Chief Constable Óskar Bjartmarz said his testimony is unclear due to language difficulties but he claims to be a member of the Western Saharan liberation movement Polisario.
Western Sahara is a non-self-governing territory in North Africa, bordering on Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It has close to 300,000 inhabitants.
A ceasefire has been in effect in Western Sahara since 1991. However, Polisario rules the territory’s poverty-stricken western regions where approximately 10,000 people live, as stated in Morgunbladid.