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UK refuses to accept Iraqi refugees



*** The British regime now refuses to accept Iraqi refugees, and is deporting the Iraqis who already live here, claiming that all is well in Iraq now thanks to the Brits and the Yanks. But Iraq is far from "ok". and the regimes responsible do not even have the decency to clear up their own mess. It is one thing to claim success in Iraq for domestic propaganda purposes, but it is literally evil to use such lies as excuses when human lives are at stake. They refuse to help the victims of the catastrophie that they themselves created. ***

Take more Iraqi refugees, UN tells Britain

Britain is being urged to play a leading role in tackling the grave humanitarian crisis of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees by resettling some in the UK and by stopping the deportation of asylum seekers.

At the same time three Iraqis who worked as interpreters for British forces in Basra, and who have fled to Syria, have asked Tony Blair not to "betray" them as they now face death if they return home.

The twin appeals came on the eve of today's conference in Geneva convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to coordinate international responses to the problem.

The UNHCR estimates that 40,000-50,000 people are fleeing Iraq every month, adding to an estimated two million refugees, most in Syria and Jordan.

"We believe that because of the UK's involvement in the Iraq conflict, the UK should be playing a leading role in addressing this humanitarian crisis," said Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Refugee Council in a joint open letter urging Mr Blair to adopt "a more generous, more principled, more coherent, and more far-sighted set of UK policies".

Britain approves just 12% of Iraqi asylum claims, compared with a 91% approval rate in Sweden, which has suspended forcible refugee returns.

The three former interpreters, Issa Jafer al-Saed, Loay Mohammed al-Tahar and Akram Moaiyd Kalaf, complain they have been prevented from requesting assistance or seeking asylum from the British consulate in Damascus.

"In Iraq we were targeted precisely because we served the British authorities," they said. "We urge the UK government: do not abandon us."


SOURCE

The Guardian, "Take more Iraqi refugees, UN tells Britain", 17 April 2007.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/immigration/story/0,,2058829,00.html


FURTHER READING

BBC News, "World 'ignoring Iraqi refugees'", 20 March 2007.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6470425.stm

BBC News, "Iraq torture 'worse after Saddam'", 21 September 2006.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5368360.stm

The Independent, "Iraq: Deported refugees fearful of persecution on their return", 6 September 2006.
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article1367195.ece

"The Insider" mailing list article, 17 April 2007.

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