Mustafa Hasan: Last chance for a (permanent) life in Norway

Mustafa HasanPhoto: Terje Bendiksby / NTB

July 1 will possibly see the ending of Mustafa Hasan’s life in Norway. The rejection of his residence permit, in 2019, has been appealed multiple times and he has been granted a temporary stay of removal until he finishes his High School studies this summer. A recent lawsuit may hold the key to this complex legal, moral and political case.

A stressful year may become traumatic

The final year of high school is stressful enough for any teenager. Studying for exams, deciding what career to choose, or simply finding out who you are all common experiences for many teens throughout the country.

Not so for Mustafa Hasan.

All of his teenage years, and some before, have been spent juggling his school and social activities with having to navigate the Norwegian legal system and immigration law.

However, this year, his final year of High School, he has been told to leave the country by July 1.

Almost a lifetime in Norway

The saga of Mustafa Hasan begins in 2008. Then a 6-year-old, he arrived in Norway, from Jordan, with his mother and four brothers.

The family was initially granted a temporary residence permit to stay in Norway. The mother’s application for this permit is at the heart of Mustafa’s decade-old plus legal battle.

According to the UNE, this permit “was granted on the wrong basis, based on false papers and incorrect information about background, origin, and identity.”

They allege that the mother filled out the family’s nationality as Palestinian, not Jordanian. Being a mother of four children from a stateless people was seen as the main reason for the granting of this temporary residence. They also allege that the mother concealed her Jordanian citizenship in the application too.

Supporters of Mustafa, however, point out that the UNE allegations are false. They claim that the mother was born in Palestine and was forced to marry a Jordanian cousin. They argue that she did not lie about her Jordanian nationality but merely concealed it due to the trauma of the forced marriage.

Supporters also point to the fact that regardless of his mother’s alleged wrongdoing, Mustafa’s rights are protected by Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children (of which Norway is a signatory). This states that “the child…is protected…against all forms of punishment or discrimination…on the basis of the status, activities…of the child’s parents.”

In an opinion piece to TV2, professor Kirsten Sandberg said that this Convention should be applied for Mustafa’s case.

Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Family forced apart but brother can stay

Over the past decade, Mustafa has seen his family slowly broken apart and departed from Norway. His mother and two older brothers were deported, on the basis of the UNE’s alleged falsification of documents, in 2012. Mustafa was just 12 whilst his older brother, Abdel, was 13.

The latest phase of Mustafa’s ongoing ordeal started in 2019. With his case being assessed first by the UDI and then the UME several times, the situation changed on his 18th birthday. Becoming an adult resulted in a weaker case to grant him residency on humanitarian regardless of the fact that he has spent the majority of his life in Norway.

Mustafa’s application for residency was rejected by the UDI in March 2019. In January 2020, his brother Abdel (now 19) was granted residency. Though the two boys came to Norway at the same time, are from the same family, the UNE decided to treat the brother’s cases individually.

The reasoning behind this decision was that “although there are several conditions that are common to the two brothers, their situations are not identical” the UNE told Aftenposten in December.

One final roll Of the legal dice?

Since the 2019 UME decision to leave Norway, Mustafa’s case has been in and out of the legal system. In November 2020, the Oslo District Court upheld the UNE’s ruling after Hasan had appealed the decision. He was granted a temporary reprieve first until December 28 (the day after Abdel’s birthday), January 18, and now July 1.

In December, the law firm Fend, on Mustafa’s behalf, sued the UNE. They want a full annulation of his expulsion. The two major reasons for this lawsuit revolve around Abdel and the UME board.

Since Abdel was granted residency, with his connection to Norway deemed greater than any immigration regulatory considerations, that Mustafa, having an identical situation to his brother, should have been granted residency too.

Lene Conradi
Mayor of Asker, Lene Conradi. Photo: Ørn E. Borgen / NTB

Political support across the spectrum

Mustafa’s case has garnered support from across the political spectrum. The Mayor of Asker, Lene Conradi, of the Conservative Party (H), asked the UNE to reconsider the decision in November 2020.

The Socialist Left Party (SV) has written to the current Minister of Justice, Monica Mæland, to intervene in the case. Furthermore, the heads of the Young Liberal and Young Christian Democrat Party have also spoken out in favor of immigration reform pertaining to children.

With the current lawsuit in the Oslo District Court, there is a hope that some sort of closure can be reached for Mustafa Hasan. Having spent the majority of his life in Norway, July 1 is the deadline for him to leave Norway and to live in a country, and culture, quite unfamiliar to him.

Regardless of the result of the latest lawsuit, this is a young man who has lived for years in uncertainty and has seen his family broken apart.

For further information on the UNE’S decisions on Mustafa Hasan’s case visit the UME.

A crowdfunding page for his legal costs has been set up and can be found here.

Source: #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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1 Comment on "Mustafa Hasan: Last chance for a (permanent) life in Norway"

  1. Sad! heartbreaking! This would be a lesson to be learned from others!

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