Desperately seeking asylum
Thehotly anticipated release of Tony Blair’s memoirs last week created a mediastorm and brought the subject of the Iraq war back into the news.
Much lessreported is the plight of the refugees who have fled the conflict. Today’sGuardian carries a story about a group of failed Iraqi asylum seekers who wereforcibly deported from the UKto Baghdad thisweek. They claim they were beaten by both British authorities and Iraqi policeafter they refused to leave the aircraft on arrival in Baghdad. The article contains harrowingaccounts of their treatment at the hands of security forces and pictures ofsome of the injuries inflicted have emerged through the London-basedorganisation International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR). The UK has been criticised along with severalother countries for forcibly returning failed asylum seekers to areas of Iraq which aredeemed unsafe by the UNHCR due to attacks by al-Qaida sympathisers.
Amnesty haspreviously blogged on the case of the Iraqi interpreters who facedrecriminations on their retun to Iraq. This is the harsh reality forthose forcibly returned to what is still very much a conflict zone. Thesepeople have been denied their rights to asylum and dignified treatment and arefacing very uncertain futures.
Amnesty supports the UNHCR’s guidelines and believes thatindividuals from these regions should be granted refugee status or beguaranteed protection. To stop forcible returns from the UK to Baghdadplease take action here.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.