Iceland Not to Receive Asylum-Seekers from Georgia

UPDATED AUG 31 - The editor apologizes for misquoting Ambassador Gigiadze. The article below has been amended accordingly.

Georgia’s Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Denmark and Iceland, Gigi Gigiadze, has stated that Iceland will no longer accept Georgian citizens’ applications on asylum and will proceed to deport applicants for such.

“Iceland’s decision once again emphasizes the positive environment, political stability and economic development in terms of human rights and security in Georgia, clearly recognized by our partners,” Gigiadze said. 

"Due to the moving of Georgia to the List of Safe Countries of Origin, the asylum applications from Georgia will be processed within a very short time (usually a few days) and denied. All asylum applicants will be deported back to Georgia quickly and the Schengen Area closed to them for at least two years," the Ambassador clarified.

Iceland’s Immigration Service released the decision to put Georgia on its list of Safe Countries on July 19, pointing to the fact that human rights are generally respected in Georgia, the Georgian Constitution ensures the equality of citizens, and that foreign human rights organizations work without obstacle in Georgia.

Aside from the EU member states, other countries that have been assessed as "Safe" by the Immigration Directorate of Iceland are: Albania, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Liechtenstein, Kosovo, Macedonia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and the United States.

The Agency says that basic human rights are generally respected in the states on the list and the cases of asylum seekers who are nationals of these countries are usually given priority processing by the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration.

By Thea Morrison

24 August 2017 11:51