Syrian couple Dallia Asaad, 33, and Samer Wardeh, 42, came over the Storskog border crossing into Norway on October 25 along with their three children, aged eleven, nine and one and a half. Now they are being returned because the human smugglers they used gave them the wrong type of visa.
“When we paid $22,000 to take the Arctic route to Norway, we didn’t think about what sort of visa we received in Russia. Before the war in Syria, we had never been abroad,” a distressed Dallia Asaad told NTB in Kirkenes, where temperatures were at -30C.
“We were in Russia for four days and now the Norwegian UDI [Directorate of Immigration, ed.] won’t consider our case. We are being sent to death by the Norwegian police. What will happen to us when we are sent to Russia without any money? We are desperate,” Dallia added.
Syrian couple Dallia Asaad and Samer Wardeh and their children were joined by local activists to protest against their looming deportation. Photo: Jan-Morten Bjørnbakk / NTB scanpix
Safe in Russia
Fifty to 60 people waiting to be returned to Russia found themselves on Wednesday at Ankomstsenter Finnmark, an asylum centre in Kirkenes. They have not had their asylum applications assessed but are being deported in line with the instructions the Norwegian government gave UDI before Christmas. The National Police Immigration Service Norway (Politiets utlendingsenhet – PU) plans to send a new bus full of asylum seekers out on Thursday. On Tuesday, 13 others were returned to Murmansk.
“Those who are being returned now are people who have valid residence in Russia. That means that