The Icelandic state has paid damages to an Albanian asylum seeker who was deported from the country in her ninth month of pregnancy. The woman was deported in November 2019, then 26 years old, along with her husband and two-year-old son despite having a medical certificate stating that “a long flight would be difficult for her.” The woman’s lawyer told Vísir her client is relieved at the outcome and hopes it will prevent the Icelandic state from putting other women’s health and safety at risk, as well as that of their unborn children.
Doctor broke the law in issuing certificate
Despite having a certificate from the National University Hospital stating she had back problems and that a long flight would be difficult for her, the woman was deported on the basis of a second medical certificate procured by police. The woman asserts that she was never examined by the doctor who signed this second certificate.
The deportation was protested at the time it occurred, with the Directorate of Health launching an investigation into the deportation procedure to determine whether it violated health regulations. The Directorate of Health eventually ruled that the doctor who signed the second certificate broke laws applying to healthcare workers and patient rights.
State acknowledges liability
Claudia Ashanie Wilson, the woman’s lawyer, confirmed that the Icelandic state had recognised its liability in the case. She spoke with her client two days ago, and says the woman was relieved that the Icelandic state had acknowledged that it had violated her rights in deporting her when she was nearly 36 weeks pregnant. She declined to state the amount that was paid to the woman.
“This incident will hopefully make the Icelandic authorities reflect and ensure the humane treatment of those individuals who apply for international protection here in Iceland. We seem to forget sometimes that these are people, individuals like us, who are in great need,” Claudia stated.