Icelanders petition to save Afghan women from deportation

Torpikey and Maryam.

Torpikey and Maryam. Photo: Guðný Erna Bjarna­dótt­ir

A group of Icelandic women, including filmmaker Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir, have started a petition urging the government to grant two Afghan women currently living in Iceland asylum.

The petition also calls upon the Appeals Board of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration to review its decision to deport mother and daughter Torpikey Farrash and Maryam Raisi to Sweden, from where they are expected to be sent back to Afghanistan.

“Sending them back to Afghanistan is complete madness,” says Gunnarsdóttir, who first saw the poor conditions experienced by Afghan women when she was filming there in 2014.

“Single women cannot survive there, not even in Kabul,” she says. “I have never been involved in refugee issues but this case moved me.”

The two women first fled Afghanistan for Iran. The husband and son of the family returned to Kabul, where they have since disappeared. They managed on their own to make their way to Sweden.

“These women have cast off the veil and I admire their courage. If anybody deserves the protection of Iceland, it is these women,” says Gunnarsdóttir.

You can find the petition here.

Photo: Iceland Monitor/Kristinn Ingvarsson

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