10 April 2017
An Iraqi refugee is due to be deported this evening, as part of the first mass deportation to Iraq since 2011. Campaigners are condemning the action, and organising protests.
Aras Ismail was taken from his cell this morning and informed that he would be deported later today. He is scheduled to be put on the 17:05 Royal Jordanian Airlines flight to Amman, and will then be flown to Baghdad on April 12th.
He was detained last week as part of a series of raids on more than 30 Iraqi refugees, who are now in detention centres. The remainder of those detained are expected to be deported on board a chartered flight in the coming days and weeks. Many of those detained have been living in the UK for years and have families here.
If the deportations happen, it would be the first chartered flight deportation to Iraq since 2011, when the Iraqi authorities agreed not to accept any such flights in Iraqi airports following a campaign of public pressure. The Iraqi government appears to have gone back on this agreement, and the British and Iraqi authorities are now thought to be cooperating, with the Iraqi authorities even being granted access to the refugees while in detention.
Dashty Jamal, from the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, said: “We strongly condemn this forced deportation by the UKBA at a time when Iraq is in a state of war and the Iraqi people are still paying the price for the imperialist actions of the British and American governments. We ask all freedom loving people to stand against these actions. We call on the British government to immediately halt the deportations, and we call on Royal Jordanian Airlines not to play any role in them.”
The campaign against the deportations is being run by the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees
A protest is planned on Thursday evening outside the Home Office against the deporations. Hundreds are expected to attend.
For more information, please call Dashty Jamal on 07720291516