Iraq, bombs and the return of aslyum seekers.

In the wake of this week's series of bombs in Iraq that left more one hundred people dead the refugee agency UNHCR has reiterated its deep concern about involuntary returns to Iraq amid the violence.

UNHCR said it is shocked and saddened by the recent bombings and continued violence in Iraq which have left hundreds dead and wounded this week.

"Despite the efforts of the authorities, the security situation remains
precarious. For this reason UNHCR's guidelines on Iraqis (last revised
in April 2009) should continue to be applied and countries need to
refrain from forcibly returning Iraqis originating from the region of
Central Iraq back to those governorates deemed to be unsafe, namely -
Baghdad, Ninewa, Salah al Din, Diyala, Tameem (Kirkuk).

In our guidelines issued last April, we noted that in view of the
serious human rights violations and continuing security incidents
throughout Iraq, most predominantly in the central governorates,
asylum-seekers from these governorates should be considered to be in
need of international protection. UNHCR therefore advises against
involuntary returns to Iraq of persons originating from Central Iraq
until there is a substantial improvement in the security and human
rights situation in the country.

Concerning asylum-seekers from the three northern governorates, as well
as those from the southern governorates and Al Anbar, UNHCR recommends
that their protection needs are assessed on an individual basis.

While the number of security incidents has reduced many groups continue
to face significant threats with UNHCR offices reporting that the
numbers of Iraqi refugees returning are being offset by new arrivals.," UNHCR said.

Thanks for your time. Billy Briggs. www.billybriggs.co.uk 

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