‘Neda case’ lawyer to sue authorities

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The lawyer who represented the deported Ibrahim family is suing the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board (Utlendingsnemnda, UNE) for abuse of authority. The family spent 10 years in Norway and appealed their asylum rejection five times before being deported last June, but have not been allowed to return despite an Oslo court ruling their deportation order was invalid.

“A case like this has never proceeded before the court,” lawyer Arild Humlen told online news site Nettavisen. He said UNE has overridden public administration, the human rights convention and children’s laws in forcibly removing 12-year-old Neda, her three siblings and parents from a refugee centre in Sandnes, Rogaland and sending them to Jordan.

When UNE rejected all of the Ibrahim’s appeals they challenged the deportation order in court. It was ruled invalid in November, although the court said its conclusion “does not grant the plaintiffs legal residence in Norway.” UNE did not appeal the court’s ruling but simply issued a new deportation order, and viewed the matter settled.

Humlen argued this is an abuse of authority, and raises question of legal principles. “Instead of doing what any other administrative body does when a decision is deemed invalid in court and you disagree with that – appealing further – UNE said this isn’t relevant and instead adopted a new decision,” he said. “But the case is that the shortcomings in the previous decision may have affected the outcome of the case.”

Neda’s family sought asylum in Norway claiming they were Palestinians from Iraq, but authorities discovered they were actually from Jordan and had no grounds for asylum. It raised issues about the rights of refugee children, who spend years growing up in Norway before their families’ applications are rejected.

UNE told Nettavisen it has received notice of the lawsuit. Humlen said the case will be heard before summer.

newsinenglish.no staff