British authorities are to tell 1,400 rejected Iraqi asylum seekers in Britain to return home, The Guardian reported today. The paper added, “the [British] government considers Iraq safe enough to return them, according to leaked Home Office correspondence seen by the Guardian.”

The Iraqis involved are to be told that unless they sign up for a voluntary
return programme to Iraq within three weeks, they face being made homeless and losing state support. They will also be asked to sign a waiver agreeing the government will take no responsibility for what happens to them or their families once they return to Iraqi territory.

This decision came as dozens of Iraqis were killed all over the country in the last few days in a spate of suicide explosions, leaving people inside Iraq fearful of the increase of the terror and sectarian attacks that marked their lives for the last years after it went down in the last months. And yet, it is considered “safe enough” for Iraqis outside to go back to their country in the eyes of the British government.

The 1,400 Iraqis came to Britain before 2005 and were granted “hard case”
support. Although their claims for refugee status had been rejected, they were unable to leave the country because there was no safe way back to Iraq and they faced destitution in Britain. They have received “section four support” which includes basic “no-choice” accommodation, three meals a day, vouchers for essential items and only utility bills paid.

I wonder when these Iraqis return, how many of them are going to be killed or executed just for the mere reason that they were in Britain. What are they going to tell insurgents and militias who believe that Iraqis who lived in the west have been trained to spy on them? What if they considered these Iraqis traitors who preferred to live in the “infidel” west rather than their own country?

  • Published: 16 years ago on March 13, 2008
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  • Last Modified: March 13, 2008 @ 7:31 am
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