Deported Iraqi refugees beaten on return

Deported Iraqi refugees beaten on return

Reports say Iraqi refugees, forcibly deported from Britain, were beaten by Special Police (Asayish) as soon as they stepped off the plane in Erbil.

The plane had not landed at the usual passenger terminal but instead taxied to a cargo area where media access was barred. Deportees were then herded into a waiting bus while some were beaten. They were subsequently taken to a hotel controlled by the Asayish, where those with family members already in Erbil were eventually released. Those without family are still being held, while the Asayish are denying them visitors.

The refugees were deported from RAF Brize Norton on February 12th after being detained on reporting to their local police stations as requested. The Home Office claims that Iraqi Kurdistan is a "safe country" and so they are not violating their international obligations to protect refugees by deporting them back there. However, the Foreign Office website states:

Travellers to the Kurdistan Regional Government controlled provinces of Dohuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah should be aware that there remains a serious threat from terrorist groups in the region. You are strongly advised to seek professional security advice and make arrangements for your security throughout your visit. (emphasis added)

The United Nations Refugee agency, the UNHCR, estimates that 4 million Iraqis - 15% of the population - have been internally or externally displaced since the US/UK Invasion in 2003, in addition to an estimated 650,000 excess deaths (2.5% of the population) according medical journal The Lancet.

Posted By

Joseph Kay
Feb 16 2007 19:45

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