Mustafa Hasan battles Norway deportation order

The case has some asking what it means to be from Norway

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Mustafa Hasan
Mustafa Hasan’s mother was in the hospital when police came and knocked on their door at 5am, informing him, his older brother, and his younger sister that they had 40 minutes to pack their bags for their flight to Jordan. اضافة اعلان

The decision was delayed because the mother was ill, according to Mustafa, who recently turned 18. The young man is a resident of Asker, a small town on the outskirts of Oslo, Norway, where he currently lives with Norwegian Child Welfare.

His plight started in 2008, when the mother landed in Norway and sought asylum as a Palestinian refugee. Four years later, authorities were conducting a random check and discovered that she had omitted the fact that she also has a Jordanian citizenship.

Mustafa was six when he arrived in Norway with his mother and 4 siblings.

“My mother suffered a lot. She had a difficult life with my father. He did not have a job, and she was just miserable. That is why she brought us here. She just wanted to secure us a better life,” Mustafa told Jordan News via Zoom.

The case gained immense attention in Norway. Mustafa’s classmates raised some 60,000 euros, collected through 30,000 signatures calling for the suspension of deportation, and painted their school’s halls with heart cutouts that read “Justice for Mustafa.”

“I have met Mustafa and he appears to be like any other Norwegian 18-year-old. He has grown up in Asker, and to let him stay where he now has his roots is the right thing to do, regardless of the circumstances,” Lene Conradi, the mayor of Asker, told Jordan News. “I moved to Asker myself as a 4-year-old, Mustafa came here at the age of six. I consider Mustafa to be just as much ‘from Asker’ as I am.”

Mustafa’s fight has also caught the attention of Martin Odegard, Arsenal’s midfielder, who posted on Instagram in support of Mustafa.

“Mustafa came to Norway when he was six years old and has lived in Norway for over 13 years. He has no other memories of life than the life he has lived and lives in Norway. His only wish is to stay. Big brother Abdel has received an approved residence permit, while Mustafa, who has been in Norway since he was even younger, is now thrown out and punished for something his mother did when they came to Norway 13 years ago,” Odegard posted.

Last year, the Norwegian immigration authorities granted Abul Rahman, Mustafa’s older brother, permission to stay in Norway, despite the fact that both brothers have lived in Norway for the same period of time. 

“The reasons in the decision we have received only state that there are many similarities between the two brothers; however, they are not identical; that’s it, that’s all they said. We feel this is discriminating against Mustafa on no grounds. They grew up together in Norway and they have the same connection to it,” said Nicolai Skjerdal, Mustafa’s lawyer.

The Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) responded to Jordan News’ questions and elaborated on Mustafa’s case. “In 2016, UNE processed the family’s cases in a board hearing, including the two brothers’ cases. At that time in 2016, UNE viewed the circumstances differently for Mustafa Hasan and his brother. Mustafa was denied a residence permit, and his brother was granted a temporary residence permit for specific reasons. The court ruled both decisions valid.”

“The family received a temporary residence permit when they first arrived in Norway. However, this was given on the wrong basis as the mother had provided authorities with false documents and wrong information about her background and identity. Giving wrong information about your background and identity is a serious violation of the Immigration Act and therefore, the family’s permits were revoked.”

Today, Mustafa continues to battle deportation in court and through music. As a music producer, he released a video clip about his story and his mother’s struggles with illness.

“I do not blame my mother, as she just wanted what is best for us. I do not get to talk to her much, but when I do she always tells me to stay here (Norway). It has been difficult for her as well; she went from one of the best countries in the world to a country where she had nothing,” Mustafa said.

Mustafa’s case is not entirely unique. A Jordanian man with a similar experience, who preferred anonymity, described to Jordan News how he is still “living in shock” following his deportation from Norway 18 years after arriving there.

In 2001, he claimed to be from somewhere else. He said “I paid JD3000 for the visa, and when I got there, some people received me and told me what to say and how to act to fool the authorities into believing me. I did as I was told and it worked. I spent 18 years in Norway where I worked and started a family.”  The money he paid people here in Jordan, he explained, was for documents and requirements he needed to meet to obtain the entry permission.

But his story came to a bitter end.

“I left Jordan to escape harsh living conditions, pretended to be a refugee and lived as a refugee to get a better a life. After a dispute with my wife, she complained to authorities and I lost everything. I was deported in 2018, and I cannot even speak to my son, but I am still trying to return.”

This man’s experience insinuates that this practice has become common in the past years. As the region was ravished with conflict and economic hardships, men and women, young and old fled and sought asylum based on false information, hoping for a better life.  

Mustafa’s mother fled the country in 2017 with her youngest daughter, who was born in Norway, after losing an appeal case. Mustafa continues to live with child welfare. His deportation to Jordan is now set to July 1, 2021.