Baghdad airport will not admit deported Iraqis

ERBIL, Nov. 23 (AKnews) – Baghdad airport will no longer admit Iraqis who are deported from Europe by force,

the Minister of Immigration said. Dindar Najman told AKnews today the decision was made by a committee, headed by himself.

The Council of Ministers formed the committee after the issue of forced deportation was highlighted as a problem. There are also deputies from the Iraqi human rights and foreign ministries in the committee. „This was the first step by the committee to end forced deportations,“ Najman said. The committee will in the following days discuss measures to end the phenomenon completely.

International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) have repeatedly accused the Iraqi government of signing a deal with European countries which deport Iraqis in return for dropping Iraqi debts. Among the countries that started forced deportations via Baghdad since 2005 are Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

According to the IFIR 5,000 to 6,000 Iraqi refugees, most of them Kurds, have been deported from Europe since then.
Kurdistan-based chief of IFIR, Amanj Abdulla, told AKnews no European country has tried to send any refugee back to Iraq since the decision was made so the authority’s resolve to enforce this ban remains untested.

Nevertheless, he valued the decision as „a positive step in favor of Iraqi refugees“.

FM /23/11/2011 13:03