Court halts Iraqi’s deportation to Greece

A Migration Court in Malmö has stopped an Iraqi asylum seeker from being deported to Greece, angering the head of Sweden's Migration Board.

The court cited evidence that Greek authorities don’t do enough to ensure that asylum seekers receive a fair hearing and ruled the deportation be called off.

The head of the Migration Board, Dan Eliasson, wants to appeal the ruling.

“It contradicts the judgment we made and the judgments other migration courts have made,” he said to news agency TT.

The 27-year-old man arrived in Sweden last November seeking asylum. But an investigation by the Migration Board revealed that the man had come to Greece in June of last year, leaving after one week to return to Iraq.

The Migration Board thus decided to turn the case over to Greece, pointing to the Dublin Convention, an agreement between EU member states which says that an asylum case should be heard in the first EU country the asylum seeker enters. The convention also allows countries to return asylum seekers to the first country they entered.

The 27-year-old Iraqi, who is handicapped due to an amputated foot, appealed the deportation order to the Migration Court on the grounds that conditions for asylum seekers in Greece are difficult, especially for those who are handicapped.

The court ruled that Sweden ought to assume responsibility for the man’s case and returned it to the Migration Board.

Eliasson is upset by the ruling and plans to appeal.

“We and migration courts which have previously commented on this issue are in clear agreement. Now we’re faced with a judgment that stands against earlier established practice. In order to avoid any uncertainty in this area, we’re going to appeal immediately to the Migration Court to guarantee that court judgments conform to the established view,” he said.