Reykjanes District Court’s verdict on April 30 over two Algerian boys, 15 and 16 years old, handing them a 30-day prison sentence for submitting falsified passports upon their arrival to the country, has been criticized, as their young age was not taken into consideration.
From Reykjanes, the jurisdiction responsible in the boys’ case. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The boys might be defined as refugees according to the United Nations refugee treaty and have applied for asylum in Iceland, visir.is reports.
The teens were accommodated in a prison cell in Keflavík for three days after their arrival, before the Government Agency for Child Protection and the Prison Authority interfered, placing they younger boy in a foster home and the other at the FIT Hostel for refugees and asylum seekers in Reykjanesbær.
Director of the Agency for Child Protection criticized the verdict harshly on RÚV on Tuesday, saying he doubted the sentence would have been non-suspended if the youngsters had been Icelandic.
Chief of Police in Suðurnes Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir defended the boys’ treatment, telling Fréttablaðið that they are suspected of being older than they claim.
The boys say they came to Iceland because of fear of persecution in their home country. It will take the Directorate of Immigration 13-15 months to process their application for asylum, during which time their backgrounds will be evaluated.
It is uncertain what will happen to them after they’ve served their sentences at the foster home and FIT Hostel.
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