On Sunday 6th December an early morning action by the Norwegian police aliens section oversaw the forced deportation of 30 Iraqi nationals that had been residing in the country without permission, several of whom had criminal records.
A heavy police escort, numbering some 66 officers, accompanied the immigrants to the airport where they were placed on a charter plane bound for Baghdad reports the Norway Post.
Of the thirty illegal immigrants, eleven had been convicted of offences ranging from rape to violence and drug dealing. All of the immigrants had previously been unsuccessful in their claims for asylum.
Norwegian Justice Minister Knut Storberget claimed that his government would enact “tougher” measures in the future along with a new cooperative flight programme with Sweden to aid deportation.
“The Government is carrying out a strict and just asylum policy, in order that those who need protection will receive it. It is therefore important that those who do not qualify for asylum should return home. Our wish is that those whose request for asylum has been denied, and therefore should leave, do so voluntarily. The expulsion of these thirty shows that we are able to expel those who do not leave voluntarily. This is an important signal,” said the Justice Minister.
According to Storberget there are currently around 3,000 illegal immigrants residing in Norway after being denied asylum.