A number of Iraqi-Kurdish asylum seekers have been detained across the UK this month as the Home Office is planning to deport more 'failed' asylum seekers to unsafe Iraqi Kurdistan. The move follows two previous deportations in September 2006 and November 2005, which sparked a lot of anger and protest [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6].
The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees and the Coalition to Stop Deportation to Iraq have called for a demonstration on January 24th in front of the Home Office in Westminster, London, to "put pressure on policy makers to stop their plans". There will also be another demo, called by the Campaign to Close Campsfield at the RAF Brize Norton military base in Oxfordshire, from where the 'charter flight' is supposed to leave (date not fixed yet).
Related: Kurdish family snatched and face deportation | Hundreds demonstrate in Leeds against Zimbabwean deportations | EU co-ordinated deportation of Afghani refugees | A More Fortress Europe | The Discriminatory Asylum Vouchers | Asylum Statistics: Q3 2006 | The truth behind the deportation statistics | Continuing conflicts that create refugees, November 2006 | Why campaign against deportation
Since 8 January, immigration authorities have again begun to arrest rejected Iraqi-Kurdish asylum seekers in Manchester, Birmingham and Doncaster, apparently with a view of forcibly removing them to Northern Iraq. This was in the week that the UNHCR warned that Iraq cannot deal with the number of displaced persons it already has, and Tony Blair said Britain has to keep fighting wars, and George Bush announced that he intends to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq.
Further, people who had problems in the past with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) or Islamist groups will still be at risk if they are sent back now as the KDP and PUK are still in power and the Islamists are still active. Frequent protests take place against poor living conditions and the corruption and incompetence of the authorities, and they are often met with violence and mass arrests.
The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) has refused to reveal any details as to when the flight is scheduled for but has confirmed that "removal is to be effected by charter flight." For reasons of "operational security," they said, "it is not the policy of the Immigration Service to disclose logistical information about such removals, but we anticipate removal will be before the end of February." Initial reports had suggested the date would be 27 January, but that flight seems to have been cancelled. A 48-hour notice will be given to detainees.
ps. Should not thei info be at the beginning of the page?
STOP DEPORTATION OF KURDISH ASYLUM SEEKERS IMMEDIATELY
AN APPEAL FOR DEMONSTRATION
The UK government is continuing on arresting and deporting Kurdish asylum seekers. In order to stop this policy joins us and take action immediately.
Kurdish asylum seekers are the victims of war and uncertain future. Stop the policy of arresting Kurdish asylum seekers.
Join us to achieve the following demands:
• Stop the policy of enforcing return of Kurdish asylum seekers to Kurdistan and shift all pressures on their lives.
• Release all detainees.
• Review cases of all who are still waiting and let treat them according to the European Human Rights law.
• recognise that Iraq is not safe, and that people should not be returned there.
• to regularise the status of asylum seekers from Iraq to whom they have so far refused protection, by giving them leave to remain, and the right either to work or to decent levels of benefits, in line with the proposals made by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in their document “Recognising Rights, Recognising Political Realities” published on 13 July.
We urge all organizations, human rights campaigners, refugee organizations and trade unions to support us and make every effort to end this inhumane policy of the Home office.
International Federation of Iraqi Refugees and Coalition to Stop Deportation to Iraq is going to organize demonstrations to put pressure on the Home Office and policy makers to stop their plan.
London, Wednesday, In front of the Home Office in Westminster, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P4 4DF, 24th Jan 2007, 4pm-6pm.
Centres and Kurdish and Iraqi organizations from Kurdistan and other European countries could send their support to this fax number which belongs to the Home Office: 004470354745 and send a copy to the following email addresses.
The London demonstration will be near the House of Commons rather than Corydon.
For further information please use these phone numbers: Osman Fatah: 07746166518, Burhan Fatah: 07929010257, Saman Sardam: 0779950714. Send your emails to Dashty Jamal: email@example.com and Sarah Parker: firstname.lastname@example.org
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