The reader need to understand wherever I use terms like the office, the directorate, or the department in this paper, I am referring the Norwegian Utlanding Directorate of Immigration (UDI.) Those of you who are lispy and have difficulty to pronounce the abbreviation UDI, you may read it as You|Die.
Many people, including lots of Norwegians, have no idea for what is really going on beyond the focal length of the media cam on this land. Unlike third world dictators, directors in Norwegian immigration office are masters in killing by poisoning the environment; leaving no trace on targeted subjects (asylum seekers); a blessing to them, a curse for forensic or foreign guys to simulate the crime. Hope my readers still remember the story of a Tamil girl, which I mentioned in the article Humanity or A Complete Absurdity?
… game of thrones?
The second in the list of recent posts on this site is a conference commentary that held in Oslo to discuss asylum rights and rule of law. The effort could be something that worth praise; however, none of the issues raised or the participants that took part were in color to draw my attention but the moderator.
Trygve Nordby, former SECRETARY GENERAL of Red Cross, had been DIRECTOR of the Norwegian immigration department (UDI) for six years. A man like him, who said to be a member of human right organizations throughout his adult life, attending and moderating such a conference may not sound bizarre. However, there has been no time than under his leadership of the directorate office that asylum seekers cried out and loud due to inhumane treatments. So many men and women, old and young, adults and minors had been thrown out on heavenly white streets of North Pole covered by snow and frost. Probably, it could be the only time in human history when the cruelty of mortals beaten the evil of devil. At that time of mayhem, I even wrote a letter to be a volunteer:
… if there is any suspicion in your “literature review” that says black men are not men to die of hunger or the skin of blacks is not the ordinary human skin but a stone of turtle to withstand such a freezing climate, well, in this case, I am volunteer to be a purposive sample to dismiss your hypothesis. Otherwise; how on earth we are judged to be “1gatta” guys in cities where local people even the decision makers themselves install electric plugs to warm up their metal and plastic covered cars. (2006)
For our indelible memory, Mr Nordby was on the driving seat of the Norwegian Immigration Directorate to crush us UNHEARD, to give us blind eyes for all sufferings between 2000 and 2006. Today, CHAIRING Amnesty International – Norway, he came forward and even sat as a moderator to search us LISTENING ears; tagging the then and his own institutional victims as “people in limbo”; BINGO! Does anyone see anything except new OFFICES? Anything than new POSITIONS? Anything than GAME OF THRONES?
justice is JUST-ICE …
I am not questioning Mr Nordby‘s or his good-will organization’s attendance in the conference; anyone or any which shall be welcomed as a stakeholder for such a sacred endeavor. However, why did he ignore us while he was on the throne as THE DIRECTOR? Why did he brush us off when we were TARGETS, long before we became VICTIMS?
For more than a decade now, I mean as far as I know, asylum seekers have been in a constant protest against the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI), which I envisage as Underground Department of Inhumanity. We have run a number of demonstrations, documentary exhibitions, as well as student forums in high schools to protest the same prejudices the conference discussed today as “new research findings.” In fact, some of the unfortunates have gone far even to starve themselves in churches. No wonder there is no visible change. For the politicians and decision makers that assume big offices in Norway, justice is JUST ICE; nothing that matter when it melts away in front of their eyes.
There is no doubt the conference could have merit to find solutions for the age old disregard we been suffering on this land. Nevertheless; I shall not paper the cracks since all shortcomings of the Norwegian immigration system, which the conference branded as “new findings,” were neither really new nor obscured to be searched in research. Here under are some of the failures I personally addressed a kind of “research group” hired by UDI in 2005-6. A part of the letter reads:
As I am just one of the thousandth asylum seekers who are being treated irrationally, I do not have the whole set of pigments to draw you the gruesome asylum right violation in this country. However, as we all are under one “dictatorial” immigration department, these are some of the mistreatments we share in common:
Unqualified translators who have little knowledge for the purpose. The office provides translators whose technical as well as practical experience is too little to their title. As of me, asylum case translators must not only speak the languages in demand, but also, they need to have up-to-date knowledge regarding the socio political reality of the world to bridge possible communication gaps. So often we are given translators who do not have enough knowledge how the city (Addis Ababa) or the country federalized for “administrative” purpose. They are either ignorant or do not even heard what Region 14, Zone 1, Woreda 3 … represents. As of me, they might leave the country (Ethiopia) at time when people used “teklay gizat” for regionalizing that land. Just to close this remark in a worse scenario, I found a lady who was hired for the purpose and translated UNDP/UNHCR as a local political opposition party.
Broken or inadequate service from lawyers. Almost all of us believe the LEGAL advice we are supposed to get from our respective lawyers has been replaced by a POSTAL delivery service. Asylum case lawyers in Norway are stars on daylight sky, we do not see them yet we know they are there. Other than the first time “acquaintance meeting” that usually lasts for a few seconds, we see (hear) them ONCE in lifetime as Halley’s Comet, when they call us to deliver the common negatives. I can not say there is a dilution of effort as the post men do not practice law in a court even though our lawyers meddle as couriers to deliver posts and parcels.
After all, our lawyers’ existence or assistance is not something to matter as long as the directorate has already prepared and printed out the negative answer way before one is interviewed. That is why I ripped off myself the right to have a lawyer and facsimiled a letter to UDI that I do not need a lawyer anymore, in 2007. There is no need to have a LAWYER in a place where there is no LAW.
Negligence in processing our cases. The office makes little effort to investigate cases individually. In its rule of grammar, asylum seeker is a neuter. No one will be judged wrong addressing a subject (asylum applicant) as MALE, FEMALE and/or BOTH. My friend and the co-admin of this site, Samson, once said “asylum seekers are being treated faceless.” Right here, I cordially ask him to add a footnote on his finding that we are also defined as sexless.
Many female asylum seekers have been denied protection on letters that addressed them in masculine gender, using pronouns: he, his; as a number of requests from male applicants were dismissed on papers that buttonholed them in feminine sex: she, her. It is also common to see different cases of different individuals winnowed out on “ready made” negative answers that differ only by name, date, and 2DUF numbers. These are indicators of the office’s recklessness in handling sensitive cases. That is why we picked up more than seven letters and put them on a display board when we were running an exhibition to the local community in 2006.
Loss or missing of submitted documents. Asylum seekers who delivered official papers that bear witness to their identity or misery are routinely denounced to “provide NO EVIDENCE” at all to validate who they are, what they faced or said. Where are those documents that have been delivered to the authorities before, during, or after the interview? I just asked to put emphasis. Otherwise; leave aside you (the readers) who have only two earthly pupils, even one of the Hindu deities with twelve heads and twenty-four celestial eyes can not spot the whereabouts.
This is not hollow accusation. I can cite a number of individuals here; however, let me put ut myself at the front. Though it is too personal to report, I submitted two genuine documents ratified by internationally recognized organization and school, plus an ID card from nationally mandated provincial administrative office. All three bearing photos, fax, telephones, e-mails, and you name it to check the authenticity if needed. Yet, the office filed me on “no document” ledge. When I responded back mentioning all what they got, I received “a computer generated” request to ADD MORE! I know, if I provided them ten in surplus, they would have asked for the eleventh. God forbids; if I beat the office’s insatiate thirst for more documents, they will ask me to fast forty days and nights like Moses so that God shall bear witness for me in thunder voice; the way He asserted the sonship of Christ while being baptized. Of course, this might help if and only if God Himself is trustworthy for the authorities … which I doubt very much.
… from pen killer dictators to killer pen directors.
If I keep telling the gruesome asylum right violations of the directorate, it will end nowhere. To my eyes, not only the office but the immigration system as a whole is rotten from top to bottom. Those who are even on the sideline to run the function are falling far behind professional ethics and practices; “You better go back to your country! Why did you come? We know you are flocking here because you have heard that we (Norway) have huge oil reserve” said a NURSE to a newly arrived asylum seekers who were gathered in an auditorium for orientation program. To the best of my knowledge, medical personnel that are said to suffer compassion stress usually carry painkillers to treat pains; they do not bag killer pens to thread pains, to threat death.
Honestly speaking, while running, I do not think all of us were aware of the fact that Norway has deep well of oil or we were fleeing from pen killer dictators to directorate with killer pens. As “picture speaks louder than words“, my feature image for this article, which is a hybrid of BULLET, HYPODERMIC NEEDLE, and PEN, can say this all. In fact, at arrival, we have discovered and live an abyss of hell where humans are left for decades to decompose alive. If the “huge reserve” was analogy for the “refugee shelters,” we owe her respect as she is honest to see us as great fortune for Norway to excavate bogus humanitarian fame out of our decomposing bodies and “infinite” names. Otherwise; My Lady, if you ever read me, having crude is not a blessing to boast on but not being crude. It is knowledge, not a natural privilege that a nation has to be proud of. Besides, since you have petrol to prosper, it does not mean every one out there is a pauper or beggar.
In general, per of my experience and analysis, the Norwegian immigration system is gravely influenced by RACISM than RATIONALISM. Its RULES lack VALUES. On their bureaucratic table, decision makers gamble asylum seekers’ cases as casino chips for cheap fanatical gains.
At last, let me say a few words on a comment made to online published article under a title: Stillheten om retur til Etiopia, (3The silence on deporting Ethiopians, NRK Ytring, 18 June 2014)
“… i motsetning til oss som sitter her må profesjonelle folk forholde seg til virkeligheten. så lenge de ikke har et klart opphav kan vi ikke bare kaste dem på sjøen og håpe ikke strømmen leder dem tilbake til Norge igjen.” tore hansen.
A comment prior to the above one recommended in a taste of urge to deport people who are tagged illegal. Then came Mr. Tore to answer … 4we have professionals to deal with such realities. As long as these people do not provide clear information about their origin, we can not just throw them in to the sea and hope the torrent would not float them back to Norway.
As I said right on the beginning, many civil Norwegian citizens are shunning off the sham that the immigration politicians committed on their names. If Mr Tore wrote that based on what he read or heard on media, I would not mind the taste of cruelty in his comment. But, he need to know that not all of us conceal our identity. Regardless of the documents I myself handed to the authorities (or to “the professionals” as his words), it took them solid FOUR years to answer me. Otherwise, unless one is a cruel whale hunter who wants to plump out the aquatic giant with warm bone and flesh of humans, no man dreams to “clean” his land by throwing defenseless asylum seekers in to oceans alive.
1gatta is a Norwegian term for street.
2DUF is an identity figure given to each and every asylum seeker distinctively to identify his/her case by number.
3,4The translations in italics are mine and adjusted in a way to give sense for the reader without distorting the original contextual meanings.