Stop Deportations From the United Kingdom to Baghdad
The Stop Deportation network and the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, along with other groups and organisations, are demanding that the first mass deportation flight to southern Iraq, expected to leave on Wednesday, is cancelled and the detainees threatened with forcible removal are released immediately. Over the last week, detainees in various immigration detention centres have been given 'removal directions' clearly stating they will be removed to Iraq, rather than the Kurdistan Regional Government-controlled region, which was stated in previous removals.
Deporting people to a war zone like Iraq would put the lives of many deportees at risk. As recently as the 11th October, three car bombs exploded in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, killing at least 19 people. Violence and bloodshed continue throughout the country, which saw 1,891 civilian deaths in the first six months of this year alone. There are also widespread food shortages, lack of access to clean drinking water and other grave humanitarian crises in many areas.According to The Guardian, this is the first time Iraqi asylum seekers are being flown to Baghdad instead of the area of Iraq controlled by the Kurdish regional government, a practice that has been criticized by the United Nations high commissioner for refugees.
The British government, through its participation in the war on and occupation of Iraq since 2003, is responsible for these crises and the consequent displacement of millions of Iraqis. Instead of helping accommodate refugees fleeing war and violence, it is now is planning to send them back en masse to face their possible death.Stop Deportation Network (13 October 2009)
The United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) recently criticised the Danish and Swedish governments for sending failed Iraqi asylum seekers back to central Iraq on the grounds that the area was still dangerous and returns were contrary to the agency's guidelines.The United Kingdom and the United States are directly responsible for the displacement of millions of Iraqi people. Countries who invaded Iraq should take responsibility, stop deporting Iraqi asylum seekers, a start accepting more Iraqi refugees than the petty few thousands being accepted now. If there are too many refugees for the U.S. and the U.K. to take care of, tough. Those are the consequences of the decision to start a war.
Current UNHCR advice is that failed asylum seekers may be returned to the southern governorates of Iraq and the Kurdish region in the north if they have local family support. The five governorates, or provinces, in central Iraq are still considered too dangerous for repatriations.Owen Bowcott - The Guardian (13 October 2009)
The Stop Deportation Network says you can do the following to stop these deportations:
Contact your local MP and ask them to put pressure on the UK Border Agency to cancel the deportation. You can find your local MP at http://findyourmp.parliament.uk
Contact the minister for borders and immigration Phil Woolas:
House of Commons phone number: 020 7219 1149
House of Commons fax number: 020 7219 0992
Constituency phone number: 0161 624 4248
Constituency fax number: 0161 626 8572
Please copy stopdeportation[at]riseup.net in your email correspondence.