Turkish officials seek asylum in Norway, embassy in Oslo dismisses their fears

UPDATED: Scores of Turkish military officers and diplomats who’ve been serving at embassies and with NATO in Europe have defected and sought political asylum, including several now in Norway. Newspaper VG reported Thursday night that they all fear being imprisoned and even tortured or killed if they return home to Turkey. Turkey’s embassy in Oslo dismissed their fears on Friday, […]

Another fire hits an asylum center

Firefighters in Rjukan, Telemark County, battled thrugh the night to extinguish another fire at an asylum center. There were no deaths or injuries, but the local mayor called the fire “a tragedy” nonetheless. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the fire ravaged an historic building from 1916 that was on UNESCO’s list of buildings worthy of […]

Immigration chief ‘misunderstood’

Sylvi Listhaug, Norway’s government minister in charge of immigration and integration, was back in the news this week, exactly one year to the day since she first presented a long list of proposals aimed at toughening Norway’s asylum and immigration rules. This time Listhaug, who has sparked controversy since the day she was appointed, was claiming […]

Prime minister lauded for promoting ‘new word of the year’

Prime Minister Erna Solberg ended up getting credit for introducing and using what Norwegian language experts chose as the “the new word of the year” for 2016: hverdagsintegrering. That literally translates to “everyday integration,” and it’s something Solberg urged to help include new immigrants and especially refugees into daily life in Norway. While Solberg’s government minister in charge […]

Skepticism grows over immigration

A new survey carried out by state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) shows that a third of all Norwegians now think it should become even more difficult for asylum seekers to secure residence permission. That’s up 4 percent from last year, with SSB also reporting “changes in several indications of attitudes” regarding immigration. The survey of attitudes towards immigrants […]

Asylum seekers numbers continue to dive

Only 228 asylum seekers arrived in Norway in November, the lowest level so far this year and the lowest level in nearly 20 years. The sharp decline after last year’s refugee influx of more than 31,000 is linked to stricter asylum policies, forced returns and tougher border control all over Europe. All told, just over 3,000 asylum […]

‘Horrible’ refugee returns questioned

Several Members of Parliament are demanding answers from Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug regarding her active efforts to return asylum seekers to Aghanistan. Some are calling the practice “horrible,” not least after Afghanistan’s own ambassador to Norway has asked that it be halted. Ambassador Shukria Barakzai, who arrived in Oslo in February just after last year’s refugee […]

New asylum rules won’t be eased

Norway’s tougher new asylum rules have boosted deportations and sparked concern lately, both inside and outside the country, but they won’t be eased any time soon. As Norwegian politicians battle over next year’s state budget and other issues, the vast majority of them agree that the grounds and procedures for gaining asylum needed to be […]

Norway braces for new refugee influx

Norway’s immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet) is bracing for another influx of asylum seekers over its northern border to Russia. Officials won’t specify why, but want to maintain preparedness at asylum centers and camps around Kirkenes. UDI officials confirmed to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday that they “want to uphold solutions (for receiving refugees) in Finnmark also […]

Facebook stunt backfires on everyone

Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug, established Norwegian media outlets, local actor Kristoffer Joner, the asylum advocacy organization NOAS and around 30,000 donors to NOAS all found themselves caught up this week in a Facebook stunt that was backed, it turns out, by a Norwegian advertising agency working for NOAS. Joner and NOAS were aware that the ad […]