Asylum seeker deportations from Iceland have resumed after a two-year hiatus, Fréttablaðið reports. According to attorney Magnús M. Norðdahl, the police is now focusing on asylum seekers that will deported to Greece. It’s a relatively large group, counting more than 20 people, but that number could rise.
Due to COVID-related travel restrictions, few people have been deported over the past two years. Magnús told Fréttablaðið that the deportation of those who have been denied international protection in Iceland resumed at the beginning of last week. Fréttablaðið confirmed with police officials that Greece’s vaccination requirements for travellers had been lifted and that deportations would resume. “My clients have received phone calls in the past few days notifying them of the impending implementation of deportation plans,” Magnús stated.
According to Magnús, some of his clients who are set to be deported have been living in Iceland for a long time and have settled down, been promised jobs, made connections in Icelandic society, and even had children. “Among the people in the group is a woman who is eight months pregnant,” Magnús said. He considers it inhumane to deport people to Greece. “Conditions for refugees are completely unacceptable and many of them live on the streets.” Most egregiously inhumane, according to Magnús are deportations in cases where people have been living in Iceland for a long time and put down roots. “The global pandemic limited the authorities’ ability to deport people, which increased the time they spent here. To gather these people and deport them now is reprehensible and not in the spirit of a community based on goodness and love.”