The Albanian families who were deported from Iceland on December 10, after their requests for asylum were not granted, resulting in harsh criticism of the authorities on social media, have been granted Icelandic citizenship, RÚV reports. On Saturday afternoon, the families were notified of the decision of Alþingi’s General Affairs Committee via Skype.
Their deportation sparked controversy since both families have a permanently ill child.
Xhulia Pepaj, the mother of Kevi, the boy who suffers from cystic fibrosis (the boy in the other family has a heart condition), told RÚV, “This is Kevi’s best Christmas present.” His father, Kastriot, explained, “In Albania, there are no medications for this disease.”
Hermann Ragnarsson, a mason who employed Kastriot, fought hard to bring them back to Iceland.
Kastriot said, “I thank the nation, reporters, everyone. And special thanks to my friend Hermann. This is indescribable.”
You can watch the Papaj family’s reaction here.