Egyptian grandmother will be deported
Domestic news - General Wednesday, 10 March 2010 19:45 A crowd gathered in Eliel Square on 14 July 2009 to show their support for Evelyn Fadayel's appeal.
A majority of the divided Supreme Administrative Court decided that humanitarian reasons were no grounds for Finnish residency.
AN EGYPTIAN grandmother will not be allowed to stay with her son in Vantaa. On 8 March the Supreme Administrative Court turned down an appeal against the refusal of a residence permit to, and deportation of, Eveline Fadayel.
Fadayel, who was born in 1945, could be expelled from the country in the coming weeks.
Fadayel has lived at her son’s home in Finland for almost three years. She first applied for residency on the basis of family connections in Finland, and a second time citing humanitarian reasons. Fadayel, who suffers from health problems, has no relatives in Egypt.
The Finnish Immigration Service and the Helsinki Administrative Court took the position that Fadayel should not be granted residency and that there was nothing preventing her expulsion. The Supreme Administrative Court arrived at the same conclusion, but only following a vote. In its majority decision, the court decided that Fadayel would have access to medical treatment in Egypt, and that she was not entirely dependent on her relatives residing in Finland.
The Court noted that the grandmother enjoys the right to visit Finland and her relatives to visit Egypt. In addition, the Court declared that even in cases of the most difficult circumstances, individual humanitarian reasons could not justify the granting of an open-ended residence permit.
The Court’s president, Pekka Hallberg, would have granted residency because of the woman’s weak state of health and the fact that her support network is in Finland. Another of the Court’s members would have returned the deportation matter to the Administrative Court, but dismissed the appeal over the residence permit decision.
A sign of the times?
The decision to deport the two ailing grandmothers sparked a heated online discussion both for and against. Some commentators said that the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision made them ashamed to be Finnish. Others said that it had restored their faith in the country’s justice system.
– “Good news like this calls for decent pot of a coffee and a shot of cognac.”
– “How embarrassing it is again to be a Finn! But at this rate you hopefully start to get used to it.”
– “What possible reason could there be to stop this grandmother living with her son in Finland? I can hardly imagine what Finnish law allows a grandmother to be deported from the country without any reasonable grounds. I think that Eveline Fadayel should be given a residence permit because her family is in Finland and they want to take care of her.”
– “This decision is a sign of the times. Grandmas and grandpas back over the border, young people in their place... we’ll have a labour shortage soon… welcome…”
– “Something stinks, and badly. Grandmas are deported, but swindlers and frauds can stay put. And everyone pays.”
– “The right decision. The most humble thanks.”
– “An outrageous decision, but oh so trendy.”
Eero Lamberg, representing Fadayel, said that his client was left distraught by the decision.
“I myself expected or hoped that a residence permit would have been granted on individual humanitarian grounds. One could certainly have arrived at that interpretation,” Lamberg commented.
Lamberg speculated that the Vantaa police would ask Fadayel to leave the country in the coming weeks. The police promised a statement on the matter on 9 March at the earliest.
The Fadayel case has been the focus of much media attention. Former Finnish President and Nobel Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari, as well as archbishops Jukka Paarma and Leo – head of Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran and Orthodox churches respectively – are among those who have appealed in favour of Fadayel.
The Supreme Administrative Court also decided the fate of another elderly foreign woman on 8 March. Russian Irina Antonova, born 1928, will not be granted a Finnish residence permit either.
According to the Finnish national daily Helsingin Sanomat, Antonova’s representative Leo Hertzberg has declared Antonova to be in such poor condition that she would not be able to take care of herself in Russia.