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Iraq returns Iraqi deportees to the UK

AntiBeeb | 16.10.2009 18:19 | Iraq | Migration | Other Press

The Iraqi refugees who were just deported from the UK have been denied entry in Iraq. The BBC seems to have the only report of this unique debacle.

The asylum seekers are now at Brook House detention centre near Gatwick airport where they are being given legal advice, according to a Refugee and Migrant Justice spokeswoman. She said: "One would have expected with such a high profile remove, the Home Office would have sorted this out with the Iraqi authorities. "For such a high profile group to be returned is unprecedented." She added that the reason for the Iraqi authorities turning away some of the group was unclear, but suggested it may have been that certain documents were not in order.

This is yesterdays statement on the deportation from Refugee and Migrant Justice:

Caroline Slocock, Chief Executive of Refugee and Migrant Justice says:
“If the flight has gone to central or Southern Iraq, it shows a cavalier attitude toward the law which is of great concern. In a landmark ruling in an RMJ case, the Court of Appeal recently said that the Government was in breach of its obligations under Article 15(c) of the EU Qualification Directive by failing to grant protection to people fleeing indiscriminate violence; and this is likely to lead to many more Iraqis gaining the right to stay once the asylum courts review specific conditions in Iraq in the next few months. The Government should have waited and the fact that the destination or time of the flight was kept secret only makes things worse. The injunction we received last night said this secrecy was unlawful. So clearly the flight should not have proceeded. “

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Al Jaz say returns due to no transport to Basra

16.10.2009 18:29

Britain's border agency told Al Jazeera that out of 39 refugees who were on the aircraft, 10 had got off in the Iraqi capital, but the rest had been flown back after no provision had been made to transport them from Baghdad to Basra...

The Ifir said some of the asylum-seekers who were left in Iraq had been forcibly removed from the aeroplane.

"I'm too scared to go to where I used to live. Everything they told us is a lie"

One refugee quotes by the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees
The organisation quoted one of the people who disembarked in Baghdad as saying: "We couldn't move on the flight there were so many security. Even the food was expired.

"They forced 10 of us to get off in Baghdad. They said the British embassy would help us, but they just gave us $100 and left us.

"I'm too scared to go to where I used to live. Everything they told us is a lie."

Ifir said those returned to the UK were now back in Brook House detention centre in London.


Guardian report Iraqi army rebuke the UK officials

16.10.2009 18:34

Iraqi army confronted UK deportation officials on Baghdad plane
Army officer reportedly warned UK officials not to return Iraqis by force again, as UNHCR condemns removals to Baghdad

An Iraqi army officer boarded a flight full of deported asylum seekers at Baghdad airport and ordered British immigration officials not to send anyone back by force again, according to a refugee organisation that monitors expulsions.

The confrontation occurred yesterday when the first British deportation flight to Baghdad touched down carrying almost 40 Iraqis.

The officer, reportedly flanked by seven guards bearing Kalashnikovs, asked the refused asylum seekers whether they wanted to return and, according to the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR), declared: "Those of you who want to come back, you get off, the rest of you stay where you are."