A family of six children from Egypt, who have lived in Iceland for more than two years, will be deported next week. The planned relocation has taken a heavy toll on the children who now speak good Icelandic and have adapted well. The family’s lawyer says the government’s treatment of the family is illegal, morally wrong, and inhumane.
Doaa and Ibrahim, came to Iceland in the summer of 2018, together with their four children, and applied for international protection. The children are two, five, nine, and twelve years old. They say they have been persecuted in Egypt over Ibrahim’s involvement in politics.
“We came here to find safety for ourselves and the children,” says Doaa Mohamed Eldeib.
The Directorate of Immigration refused them protection at the end of July last year, and that decision was confirmed by the Immigration Appeals Board just over 15 months later. The family, therefore, did not benefit from a regulation issued by the Minister of Justice at the end of last year, according to which it is possible to grant a residence permit for humanitarian reasons if the procedure has lasted longer than 16 months.
The agency considered the family safe in Egypt.
“We completely disagree with that. They are very afraid of being sent back to Egypt and that they will both be arrested, and will not be able to take care of their children as they will be in prison, “says Magnús Davíð Norðdahl.
You were originally scheduled to leave in February
The family was to be deported in February, but they are still in Iceland. “Whether it has something to do with Covid maybe, but in any case, it has been several months now as they have not been deported but it is not the family’s responsibility,” says Magnús.
They are now due to be deported on September 16, but then they have stayed here for over 25 months.
“At that time, of course, they have managed to adapt, the kids go to school and kindergarten and the three oldest speak Icelandic. In my opinion, this is illegal, morally wrong and inhumane, “says Magnús. The planned relocation of the country has taken a heavy toll on the children.
“My kids are really scared of this date,” Doaa said.
She is also very worried about her children’s education.
“We are afraid of it because they may not get to school.”
Magnús says that in recent years there have been repeated cases of families with children on the run who have adapted in this country for a long time, but then had to be forced out of the country. “It is my opinion that this is simply systematic violence against refugee families and it is a shame.”