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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Rejected asylum seeker can’t return

A single mother who was sent out of Norway with her young son while undergoing medical treatment after an alleged gang rape in Libya won’t be brought back, despite protests from her doctor and media pressure. Norwegian immigration authorities claim she’ll receive the protection she needs in Italy, where she initially was granted asylum.

Fathia Ahmed Omar, age 25, was sent back to Italy earlier this month after immigration officials turned down her request to remain in Norway. She’d arrived in Bergen last year, after meeting and marrying another asylum seeker housed at an asylum center in Arna.

Omar, who has alternately said she’s from Somalia and Ethiopia, had claimed she was the victim of a gang rape in Libya, where she’d initially fled with her son. She underwent surgery at Haukeland Hospital in Bergen and her doctor involved himself in her case, which recently has received major coverage in newspaper Aftenposten.

Omar ended up being deported even though her medical treatment wasn’t completed. Her doctor and several other advocates have pleaded for her return, but an immigration appeals board has now upheld the authorities’ decision on the grounds she’s eligible for asylum protection and services in Italy. The board also determined that her country of origin was unclear, that she had claimed no medical or psychological problems when she first arrived in Norway and that her marriage was not viewed as valid.

An Aftenposten reporter had found her living on the streets of Genoa, setting off more pleas for her return to Norway. She since has reportedly disappeared.

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