Norwegian immigration and asylum officials have found themselves in an unusual situation, after an American citizen who has held both ordinary and diplomatic US passports sought asylum in Norway. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Wednesday morning that she’s pursuing her case from an asylum center in Trøndelag, central Norway.
NRK reported that the case has a long and complicated history involving custody of the woman’s child, who reportedly was taken abroad by her husband who was performing military service outside the US. The woman herself was described as a former federal employee with a diplomatic passport who worked with issues involving women’s and children’s rights around the world.
“I came to Norway (and sought asylum) because the country has much better laws in this area,” she told NRK. “I have no wish to be forced into silence or disappear in the fight for women and children. I am an activist.”
She claims she was arrested twice in the US without reason, that she’s been threatened and that her home was broken into because of her attempts to regain custody of her child. She claims she’s afraid to return to the US.
Immigration authorities in Norway rejected her application for asylum and want to send her back to the US, but she has appealed. She claims her application hasn’t been taken seriously, while Kirsten D Myhre of immigration agency UDI told NRK it had been “thoroughly” reviewed and handled.
A retired professor at the University of Oslo who specializes in US issues and history described the case as “special” because it’s so unusual. “We have good relations with the US, and open channels,” Professor Ole Moen told NRK. “I can’t remember any case like this before.”
The woman told NRK that Norwegians have too much faith in the US, a country “where not everything is as it should be.” Moen noted that her case and her appeal must be thoroughly evaluated, even though she fled an allied country. Officials “must hear what she has to say,” Moen said.