Saturday, October 17, 2009

Deported Iraqis put straight back on plane to Britain.

I hope Gordon Brown is embarrassed:

More than 30 Iraqi asylum-seekers deported to Baghdad by the Home Office have been refused entry to their own country and flown back to Britain.

In a hugely embarrassing blow to the Government's immigration and asylum policy, Iraqi ministers are understood to have ordered the men back to Britain after Baghdad immigration officers raised questions about the legality of the deportations.

Ten other Iraqi asylum-seekers were allowed entry to the Iraqi capital. Witnesses on the flight said the 10 men were given $100 (£60) each by the British embassy then left to fend for themselves in the Iraqi capital. In the past few weeks dozens of civilians have been killed by bomb blasts and violence on the streets of Baghdad.

Quite how the British government can argue that the streets of Baghdad are safe enough to return asylum seekers to, is simply beyond me.

And the fact that this inhumane policy is being carried out by a Labour government, which I voted for, fills me with shame.

At times like this I really wonder whether I will bother to vote at the next election at all. Seriously, we all know the Tories are going to romp home, so why should I soil my conscience by voting for a Labour government which can take part in activities like this.

Last night refugee charities and human rights groups condemned the Government for allowing the flight to go ahead when the country was in the throes of such violent turmoil.

Amnesty International warned that the deportations to central or southern Iraq risked the lives of the failed Iraqi asylum-seekers.

An Amnesty spokesman said: "Given the reports of killings, bombings and other human rights abuses that continue to come out of Baghdad, it is hard to comprehend that the UK Government considers it a safe place to return people.

"Until the situation improves and it is safe to return to Iraq, these people should be offered some form of protection in the UK."

I remember a time when the Labour party stood up for people fleeing from wars. It was our natural instinct to look out for such people and to offer them refuge.

Now, in an attempt to appear tougher on immigration than the Tories, we are actually attempting to send people back into war zones.

This is simply shameful.

The Foreign Office website advises against all travel to Baghdad and the surrounding areas.

Its guidance states: "The situation remains highly dangerous with a continuing high threat of terrorism throughout the country. This includes violence and kidnapping."

Their own Foreign Office website shows the inhumanity of what they are attempting to do. If Baghdad is not safe enough for British subjects, what makes them feel it is safe enough for deported Iraqis?

Or do Iraqis have some sort of invisible force shield around them which British subjects lack?

Click here for full article.

No comments: