Asylum protestors plead for reversal of deportation
Protestors appealing for a review of the case of Nigerian asylum seeker Eze Okafor were forcibly ejected by police from Iceland’s Home Affairs Ministry yesterday.
After four years living and working in Iceland, Okafor was deported to Sweden last Thursday. It has emerged that Sweden has rejected his asylum application and decided to deport him to his native land of Nigeria as soon as possible.
Okafor reportedly fled persecution in Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorist organisation and protestors claim he will be in danger of his life there.
A group of some twenty protestors spent all day yesterday at the Icelandic Home Affairs Ministry, in the hope of receiving a reply from Minister Ólöf Nordal and securing a reversal of Iceland’s decision to deport Okafor.
When the Ministry closed at 4pm, a large police contingent arrived and forcibly ejected the demonstrators, according to one of the protest organisers Ragnheiður Freyja Kristínardóttir.
The group was made up of friends of Okafor and members of No Borders Iceland.
Two protestors tried to prevent the departure of the flight taking Okafor to Sweden last Thursday. They could face a minimum of two years in prison. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Sigurður Bogi Sævarsson
No Borders Iceland moved their protest on the Iceland’s national parliament (‘Alþingi’), where MPs were in session. Protestors gathered first in the lobby, then moved up to the public galleries. They urged MPs to use open question time today to ask Nordal about the response of the Directorate of Immigration regarding Okafor’s case.
“The responsibility of the Iceland government is clear,” reads a No Borders Iceland statement.
“Human rights law – including the UN Refugee Convention,the European Convention on Human Rights, and the UN Convention against Torture – clearly forbids repatriation where an individual’s life may be in danger.”