FECL 14 (April 1993):


The Norwegian government has decided to deport 1200 Kosovo-Albanians whose application for asylum has been turned down. So far, due to the unstable situation in Kosovo, asylum seekers from this region were allowed to stay in Norway on a temporary base, even when their applications were turned down.

The policy change was was decided despite several international reports of frequent human rights violations in the Serbian-ruled province of Kosovo (see CL.No.12, p.2). The decision drew protests all over Norway. Marches were held all over the country. 14 Kosovo-Albanians sought shelter in a church i Tromsö and went on hunger-strike. While the hunger strike was supported by most of Norway's bishops the Office of Immigration threatened to stop weekly payments to all Kosovo-Albanians refusing to return to their reception centres.

Norwegian human rights activists have begun hiding Kosovo-Albanian families threatened with deportation.

The government, however, stands firm on its decision, and officials of the Ministry of Justice recently met police chiefs from southern Norway to plan "Operation Kosovo" aimed at the prompt execution of the government's mass deportation order.

A recent opinion poll shows that 60% of the interviewed support the churchs' initiative to grant sanctuary to would-be deportees and that 52% disagreed with the government's plan to deport Kosovo-Albanians.


Source: SAMORA Newsletter No.2, February,1993 (based on articles in Aftenposten, 9.2.93, Nordlys, 13.2.93, Dagbladet, 18.2, Vårt Land, 22.2.93, and others)