In relation to news that an Iraqi asylum seeker has begun a hunger strike, the Directorate of Immigration wishes to make the following statement.
When asylum seekers go on hunger strikes the Directorate seeks to ensure them the appropriate assistance and counselling with the welfare authorities, the Icelandic Red Cross, psychologists, medical doctors and the applicant‘s legal representative, when applicable. Every effort is made to provide help and assistance in accordance with the wishes of the person in question.
In the current situation, the Directorate’s decision in the case was made known to the asylum seeker last Friday. He applied for asylum in Iceland in July this year. As has been stated in media reports the Directorate declined to process the case on the merits as is permissible by law, for example when the person in question has been provided with international protection in a safe country or when provisions of the Dublin-regulation apply.
The decision has been appealed to the Ministry of Interior which in due course will process the case. In cases like this the applicant can request that execution of the decision be suspended and when such a request has been made the decision cannot be executed until a ruling regarding the suspension has been made.
As with Icelandic authorities in general, the Directorate of Immigration is bound by domestic law and international human rights laws which prohibit sending people to countries where their lives and freedom are at risk.
O.b.h. of the Directorate of immigration,
Kristín Völundardóttir, director