The asylum seekers are now at Brook House detention centre near Gatwick airport where they are being given legal advice, according to a Refugee and Migrant Justice spokeswoman. She said: "One would have expected with such a high profile remove, the Home Office would have sorted this out with the Iraqi authorities. "For such a high profile group to be returned is unprecedented." She added that the reason for the Iraqi authorities turning away some of the group was unclear, but suggested it may have been that certain documents were not in order.
This is yesterdays statement on the deportation from Refugee and Migrant Justice:
Caroline Slocock, Chief Executive of Refugee and Migrant Justice says:
“If the flight has gone to central or Southern Iraq, it shows a cavalier attitude toward the law which is of great concern. In a landmark ruling in an RMJ case, the Court of Appeal recently said that the Government was in breach of its obligations under Article 15(c) of the EU Qualification Directive by failing to grant protection to people fleeing indiscriminate violence; and this is likely to lead to many more Iraqis gaining the right to stay once the asylum courts review specific conditions in Iraq in the next few months. The Government should have waited and the fact that the destination or time of the flight was kept secret only makes things worse. The injunction we received last night said this secrecy was unlawful. So clearly the flight should not have proceeded. “