"We fear that had all 32 been given meaningful access to representation, then many more would not be on the flight," spokeswomen for the Refugee Legal Centre.
Demonstrators gathered outside the Home Office to protest, Sherzad Ahmad an Iraqi/Kurd who took part in the demonstration said: "I don't understand how anyone could think I will be safe if I'm sent back,"
Amnesty International said: "Serious human rights violations have been committed in Kurdish areas in northern Iraq, including by Kurdish security forces. To assume that people can be returned to Iraq in safety and with dignity, just because they are returned to Kurdish areas, could have grave implications for people's safety,"
Home Office makes sure asylum flight to Iraq is full
Despite an unprecedented warning from the home secretary, John Reid, the duty judge at the high court granted last minute injunctions to five individual Iraqi Kurds, blocking their forcible removal on the direct flight to Iraq which left RAF Brize Norton yesterday afternoon.
The Guardian Wednesday September 6, 2006
Iraq: Deported refugees fearful of persecution on their return
A last-ditch attempt by lawyers to halt the removals resulted in a reprieve for five of the men, but immigration officials ordered five other Iraqis in custody to take their place.In a display of the Home Office's determination to deal more toughly with failed asylum-seekers, the group was flown direct by military aircraft from an RAF base to northern Iraq.
The Independent 06 September 2006
Legal challenge blocks Iraqis' deportation
Five members of a group of 32 Iraqi asylum seekers due to be deported today have won court orders allowing them temporary leave to remain in the UK.
Times Online and PA
32 Iraqis are booted out of UK
But the Government operation was marred by horror as 15 harmed themselves in a desperate bid to stay. One man slit his throat and another needed stitches in a wrist wound. One claimed to have taken an overdose, but none was taken to hospital. The Home Office refused to comment on the self-harming but a witness told of "carnage with blood on the walls".
The Sun September 06, 2006
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National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns