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Government plans to deport asylum seekers to Iraq

Issue No. 1966

Protesting against deportations in Sheffield last weekend

Protesting against deportations in Sheffield last weekend

Protests were organised across Britain last week to oppose the government’s plans to return failed asylum seekers to Iraq.

There are thought to be as many as 7,000 Iraqis in Britain who have been refused asylum and face deportation.

Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division, condemned the government’s plan.

He said, “At a time when the foreign office advises British citizens against travelling to Iraq, it is perverse to round up Iraqis and send them back against their will.”

Alan Lodge took part in one of the protests in Nottingham. He said, “At the moment we are not certain how many Iraqis have been lifted. But we know it is happening in Nottingham and all over the country.

“We held a demonstration outside the Nottingham central police station on Saturday of last week which was really well attended.

“The protest was called in support of Kurdish and Iraqi people who fear deportation to northern Iraq.

“People from Iraq who have lost their claims for asylum in the UK have been unexpectedly detained when they go to routinely sign at the police station.

“Last week saw the first unannounced detentions of people living in Nottingham.

“The first chartered flight to Baghdad and then on to Erbil took place on 18 August. It is clear that there is no guarantee of safety in Iraq.

“The choices for anyone expected to sign at the police station are stark.

“They can sign and risk detention with a view to deportation to a country that is still experiencing exceptionally high levels of violence.

“Or they can not sign and attempt to live in Britain on borrowed time without any financial support.”

Protests were also held in Manchester, Birmingham, Stoke, Sheffield, Cardiff and London.

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Sat 3 Sep 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1966
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