Expelling former Kurdish guerrilla leader mullah Krekar from Norway could take years
Deporting the controversial former Kurdish guerrilla leader mullah Krekar can take anywhere from several months to many years, says Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) researcher Henrik Thune.
Norwegian authorities will not send Krekar back to Iraq until they have guarantees from Iraqi authorities that he does not risk the death penalty or inhumane treatment.
Thune points out that this can take a great deal of time, depending on whether Norwegian authorities are satisfied by formal guarantees, or whether they want to ensure that the guarantees will be carried out in practice.
Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) has the job of securing guarantees for Krekar. UD information adviser Frode Andersen said that the ministry is closely following the reform process in Iraq and the evolving relationship of responsibility between central and local authorities there.
For the time being, Andersen said, it remains unclear who can give the necessary guarantees. Andersen also pointed out that Norwegian immigration authorities, and not the ministry, that make the decision to deport.
Thune believes that the question of the status of Kurds in Iraq is not likely to be resolved in the near future, but that the necessary formal guarantees can be in place in the foreseeable future - after a few months time at the earliest.
But if Norway wishes to be sure that Krekar truly faces no risk in a return to Iraq, the time frame stretches to many years.
"In today's Iraq there is no one who can guarantee a person's safety," Thune said.
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