The Norwegian lawyer for an immigrant family that lost a son in the 2011 massacre on the island of Utøya is suing the state, to reverse the entire family’s effective deportation. The parents initially lied that they came from Somalia instead of Djibouti back in 2003, and the state has since stripped them all of their citizenship.
“Everything is unjust about this case, it a horror story of immigration administration gone amok,” Rune Berglund Steen, director of Norway’s anti-racism center, told the Washington Post, which this week picked up the story that’s been unfolding in Norway over the past year. Lawyer Jostein Løken told Norwegian Broadcasting Friday that he will file a lawsuit against the state and its immigration appeals board (Utlendingsnemda), claiming the order that now forces all family members to leave Norway is illegal.
“We believe the measure (which revoked the family’s citizenship and left them facing deportation) violates the law,” Løken told NRK. “Children can’t be held responsible for what their parents did in 2003. Today they are grown and have children of their own and this hits three generations. We believe that is disproportionately harsh.”
Khaled Ahmed Taleb, the oldest brother in the family who had become a politician for the Labour Party, and the family’s father were sent back to Djibouti during the summer. The ailing father died five days later, four years after another son had been killed on Utøya, where Khaled and two of his brothers were attending the Labour Party youth group’s summer camp that came under attack by a white supremacist angry with Labour for allowing too much immigration in Norway.
Khaled, who also had lied along with his parents about the family’s origins, remains in Djibouti while his family including its other Utøya survivor now must leave as well. Løken claims the state has “set aside principles” in this case, citing how Khaled’s younger siblings were children at the time and shouldn’t suffer on account of their parents. The family also has suffered a good deal of tragedy already, but politicians, including those from the Labour Party, seem to be turning their backs on them even though Justice Minister Knut Storberget claimed at the funeral of Ismail Haji Ahmed that the state would help the family along with other victims of the massacre on Utøya.