Sweden, Norway, Holland and Denmark to deport Iraqi refugees to Baghdad this week
The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) has been informed that Sweden, Norway, Holland and Denmark have arrested many Iraqi Refugees and intend to send them back to Baghdad on a joint deportation flight on the 24 or 25 January.
Rebwar one of the Iraqi Kurdish refugees in Norway contact IFIR says:
“We have a horrible life here. We are kept in a prison. In a country knowing that refugees and human rights exist but our life is like a prison every day we are threatened. I live with 10 other refugees and we are made to sign in at a police station every week”
Safen one of the detainees from Gavle detention centre in Sweden says:
“We are 7 Iraqi Detainees from Gavle detention centre. There are many other Iraqi detainees being held in different detention centres. They have informed us that we will be deported between 24-25 January”
Rebwar also says:
“My friend yesterday was arrested and removed to Oslo to be sent back to Iraq”
Many people who have been deported in the past have been beaten, detained and assaulted by Iraqi police when they have been deported to Baghdad Airport.
Dashty Jamal, secretary of the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, says:
“These governments in Europe know that at this time Iraqi people are suffering from continuing violence in Iraq yet these countries still forcibly deport Iraqi refugees. We are asking all human rights refugee rights and progressive people in European countries to stand together to stop this barbarism and demand an end to this inhuman forcible deportation policy.”
Contact for photos and interviews with deportees: 07856032991, 07824996724 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors
1. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees campaigns for the rights of Iraqi refugees and against forcible deportations and detention. It is a member of the Coalitions to Stop Deportations to Iraq (www.csdiraq.com)
2. The Kurdistan Regional Government in the north of Iraq refuse to accept forcible deportations after popular pressure in the region. European Governments have increased deportations direct to Baghdad in response. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/31/kurdish-uk-asylum-seekers-iraq
3. The UNHCR’s statement regarding the flights to Baghdad can be found here: http://www.unhcr.org/4c0e33e94fc.html Amnesty International has also condemned deportations to Baghdad and the UK courts have not declared it safe to deport people there.
4. Iraqi refugees continue to suffer from the forcible deportation policy. Kurdish media has reported Rebwar Aziz Mohammed Amin, who was deported on the previous Baghdad deportation flight, as suffering from severe mental illness since returning while Osman Rasul committed suicide in July this year after changes to legal aid meant he lost his legal representation to fight his immigration claim (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/01/asylum-seeker-osman-rasul-death-legal-aid)
5 Bombings and violence continue in Iraq with a succession of bombs in the last month.
6. Previous deportation flights have seen allegations of violence and abuse made by deportees against the security guards. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/18/iraq-deportees-asylum-seeker-claims