UPDATED: The Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) was defeated in Oslo District Court following judges’ decision against sending seven-year-old Nathan Eshete and parents Asfaw and Zinash back to Ethiopia. They will not be appealing.
What has been a high-profile case due to extensive media and public attention started in early 2012 after the UNE turned down the Eshetes’ asylum application once and for all.
The father of now seven-year-old Nathan came to Norway some 12 years ago. The family was informed their application for asylum was refused last April for a final time. They lived under the threat of deportation.
Nathan attends school in Norway, has Norwegian friends, and speaks the language. Asfaw Eshete decided to take the UNE to court over the decision, made some three months after Norway signed a return-come-forced-repatriation deal with Ethiopia. The case began towards the end of February this year.
In their ruling, Oslo District Court judges stated they believe that the UNE had not taken sufficient account of Nathan's strong association with Norway.
The court concluded that the interests of the child were not properly considered and weighed against immigration control considerations in the decision by the UNE.
UNE officials had argued that Nathan’s association was to be considered to his parents, primarily and not to Norway. Officials announce this evening they will not be lodging an appeal.
Tuesday’s defeat came just over three months since Norway lost its deportation case against siblings Abbas and Fozi Butt in Strasbourg’s European Court of Human Rights.