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  • Imprisoned Iraqi refugees on hunger strike

    by Sunny
    29th October, 2009 at 2:52 pm    

    Right-wing hysteria about immigration kills people. That’s right, it kills people. Consider this: the UK has a group of Iraqi asylum seekers who left the country to escape the bombing by al-Qaeda and our own military invasion. But under pressure from the right-wing hysteria about immigration, the Home Office actually tried to deport them back on grounds that Iraq was now safe to live in. Unbelievable.

    The plane landed in Baghdad airport but was told to go back by the Iraqi military who did not want any refugees and said the place was too dangerous and could not guarantee those people’s safety. The plane returned and the Iraqi refugees were promptly put in prison where they remain now. And yet there are people in this country who call it ‘soft touch immigration’. That’s Compassionate Conservatism for you.

    I got this press release:

    Iraqi refugees locked up in Brook House and Colnbrook detention centres have been on hunger strike since Monday 19th October, to protest against their inhumane treatment and demand their immediate release. The hunger strikers include some of those who were forcibly deported to Baghdad in the first mass deportation to southern Iraq last week but were returned to the UK after the Iraqi authorities refused to accept them. Others have just been given their “removal directions” to Iraqi Kurdistan (northern Iraq) and
    could be deported any time.

    In a statement, the hunger strikers explained: “We have been in detention centres for months and years and our cases have not been handled professionally. We are all locked up in detention, which is exactly like a prison, but most of us have never committed any crime whatsoever. We are going on hunger strike until they release us. Most of us are being falsely removed to countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, which are clearly war zones. Most of us have families in the UK. What are we supposed to do? Leave them
    behind or take them with us right into the middle of a war zone to be killed?”

    Many human rights organisations and NGOs, including Amnesty International and the UNHCR have strongly criticised the UK and other European governments for deporting people to a war zone like Iraq, as this clearly puts their lives in danger. Many more campaign groups, refugee organisations and MPs have condemned the government’s cynical move, but the Home Office is not listening!


                  Post to

    Filed in: Current affairs,Middle East,Race politics

    22 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      New blog post: Imprisoned Iraqi refugees on hunger strike

    2. Tim Ireland

      Right-wing hysteria about immigration kills people:

    3. Kevin Arscott

      RT @bloggerheads: Right-wing hysteria about immigration kills people:

    4. Ben Folley

      Agree with Sunny - absolutely shameful. RT @pickledpolitics Imprisoned Iraqi refugees on hunger strike

    5. Experiments with truth: 10/30/09 / Waging Nonviolence

      [...] the UK, Iraqi refugees locked up in Brook House and Colnbrook detention centres have been on hunger strike since October 19, to protest against their inhumane treatment and demand their immediate [...]

    6. Nicholas Stewart

      Imprisoned Iraqi refugees on hunger strike - Disgusting behaviour from HomeOffice - sending people to warzones, christ

    1. chairwoman — on 29th October, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

      And you’re surprised because?

      This is exactly what the wartime government did with Jewish refugees from Nazi occupied Europe.

      The reasoning was, and I assume still is, that they could have been spies or activists aiding and abetting the enemy.

    2. Reza — on 29th October, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

      There are around 30 million people in Iraq. Roughly the same in Afghanistan. Sub-Saharan Africa has 800 million people. And a significant proportion of them live in very dangerous conditions.

      Let’s let them all in. That would be the “compassionate” thing to do.

    3. Shatterface — on 29th October, 2009 at 5:22 pm  

      ‘That’s Compassionate Conservatism for you.’

      And of course anyone who points out that the Home Office which deported them and the Government which bombed the shit out of them in the first place wasn’t actually Conservative, ‘Compassionate’ or otherwise, is a troll.

    4. david brough — on 29th October, 2009 at 5:32 pm  

      Blair fucking WAS a Tory, and Brown is one too. How could anyone possibly imagine that this government’s actions deserve the name Labour?

      We’re not sneering at Foot any more- he was right all along and has been vindicated.

    5. cjcjc — on 29th October, 2009 at 6:03 pm  

      Goodness - Foot was right all along - about what?

      If the asylum claim is simply “we come from Iraq” even you can see how it cannot be granted?

    6. Reza — on 29th October, 2009 at 6:11 pm  

      Oh David.

      What a muddle the left are in. Last time I looked, Blair and Brown are Labour.

      And Foot, Benn and the other far-lefties aren’t vindicated at all. This war isn’t about stealing oil. It’s about the discredited neocon ideology that any people from any culture or any religion will embrace western-style democracy, provided they’re ‘helped’ hard enough.

      It’s the same stupid ideology that believes that groups of people from anywhere in the world, mixed together in any numbers and proportions whatsoever, will eventually settle down as a harmonious society, appreciating — nay, celebrating! — their differences… which will of course soon disappear entirely.

    7. Sunny — on 29th October, 2009 at 6:24 pm  

      shatterface - when have I ever defended this govt’s stance on immigration?

    8. Old Arthur — on 29th October, 2009 at 6:32 pm  

      They should have gone to Finland and claimed to be persecuted homosexuals.

    9. Reza — on 29th October, 2009 at 6:42 pm  

      “They should have gone to Finland and claimed to be persecuted homosexuals.”

      Interesting point.

      I’ve often wondered if a person living on one of our sink estates could claim asylum in a rich Nordic country, say after they’ve been mugged or raped a few times. After all, according to Sunny and co, claiming asylum because your homeland is a sh*thole is perfectly acceptable.

    10. marie-odile — on 29th October, 2009 at 8:01 pm  

      It’s about more than the general immigration debate though isn’t it? The UK - with the US - invaded Iraq, creating tens of thousands of deaths and a massive humanitarian crisis…
      … and as for the issue of claiming asylum in a rich Nordic country, (because that’s such an appropriate analogy), if its Sweden or Finland, a Brit citizen can just move there for whatever reason, no need to claim asylum.

    11. Don — on 29th October, 2009 at 8:40 pm  


      Good points well put.

    12. Wyrdtimes — on 29th October, 2009 at 8:52 pm  

      I can’t stand the Tories but blaming the Conservatives (large C) for this seems bizarre. Labour took us into Iraq and Labour are in charge of immigration policy.

      An immigration policy that has let in 2.3 million foreigners since 1991 - mainly to England. No-one knows how many illegals have been let in due to the same immigration policy either.

      Will you ever say enough is enough Sunny?

    13. damon — on 29th October, 2009 at 9:37 pm  

      What should the British government do?

      Are Kurds all (of whatever nationality) deserving of asylum?

      Tonight in Baghdad, Iraqis are having to keep their heads down, but many are still out and about in the city. Should we be bringing them over to Britain?

      I don’t have an answer. Should precedence be given to the young men who make it to these shores?
      What about their families who are at the same risk as those who HMG has tried to deport?

      I can’t give that much weight to some official at Baghdad airport who threatened to burn the British plane (with failed asylum seekers on board) if did not leave immediatly.

      Many countries seem to refuse the readmission of people who are obviously its citizens, or who have just departed from it.
      Like Indonesia for example, which must know about the west and south Asian would-be asylum seekers leaving on boats heading for Australia before they depart, but as soon as they have left its coast, seem to not want to know anymore about them.

      I think that even China doesn’t cooperate so well with accepting back its citizens who have gone off on ”illegal” migration journeys around the world.

      According to my local newspaper (where the national UK Border Agency’s only asylum screening unit is within the borough)…. ”The move means each of the 30,000 asylum seekers who fail to apply when they initially enter the country will have to come to Croydon to do so.”

      I don’t know about this following statement as its just on that newspapers website, so I’ll just quote it without comment:

      ”Akram Khan from the British Afghan Association said up to 9,000 Afghani asylum seekers had already decided to live in and around Croydon, with many hoping to hide for the six years necessary to make a citizenship application possible.”

      Please note, I take into consideration that he also said this:

      “My friend who lived with me was killed within two days of returning by opposition forces.

      Also note:

      Unaccompanied asylum seeking children(UASCs) already account for almost two-thirds of young people under the care of Croydon Council..

    14. Boyo — on 29th October, 2009 at 11:20 pm  

      Looney. That’s like saying immigration is murder when one immigrant or child thereof commits a murder.

      Really Sunny, and you call me a troll.

    15. Auntie Vera — on 30th October, 2009 at 7:13 am  

      If mighty hosts of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are congregating in Croydon, unregistered pedophiles will be flocking from far and wide to offer their services as social workers; so much for the shortage of persons willing to become social workers, in Croydon at least!

      Somewhat off topic, but vaguely connected with asylum-seekers arriving in Finland and claiming to be persecuted homosexuals, there’s this from sexual deviants in Catholic Spain, no less:


    16. Auntie Vera — on 30th October, 2009 at 8:27 am  

      Here are some recruits for the Afghan and Iraqi armed forces; enterprising, intrepid and willing to endure hardship!

      Send them home right now.

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