International Federation For Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) and Coalition to stop deportations to Iraq (CSD Iraq) kickstart a campaign of action against deporting Kurdish Iraqi Refugees 22 June - 7 July
IFIR in conjunction with CSD Iraq has organised a number of events across Europe to highlight the plight of Kurdish Iraqi Refugees across Europe. Several European countries have declined Kurdish Iraqi refugees’ claim for asylum, on the grounds that Iraqi Kurdistan is safe.
Unfortunately this is not true— Iraqi Kurdistan is dominated by lawlessness; administrative and political corruption; oppression and prosecution of political opponents. As a result, thousands of youths in Iraqi Kurdistan have been forced to flee to surrounding countries or to Europe to seek a peaceful life in bearable conditions.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has recently released a report that confirms that Kurdistan is unsafe and asylum seekers should not be forcibly deported to Kurdistan. UNHCR and other organizations have sought urgently to highlight the fact that Iraq now contains a huge number of displaced persons, and that about four million people have fled Iraq, many of these from Iraqi Kurdistan.
Campaigners from women’s rights and human rights organisations are routinely threatened by both the Kurdish authorities and Islamists in Kurdistan. Iraqi refugees should not be forcibly returned if they have experienced problems with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the Kurdish Deomcratic Party or Islamic groups as they will still be at risk because both the KDP and PUK parties are still in power and the Islamist groups have recently upped the level of their activity.
Unfortunately several European countries, including the UK, which has forcibly deported eighty seven Iraqi refugees over the last two years, refuse to accept that Iraqi Kurdistan like the rest of Iraq is unsafe.
The first event organised by the IFIR and CSD Iraq was at the Home Office in London on Friday 22 June, and was very well attended and vocal. The demonstrators chanted slogans calling for the end of forcible deportation and detention of Iraqi Kurds. Speakers including Dashty Jamal (IFIR and CSD Iraq), Also Goran from IFIR, Jean Lambert (Green party), and Houzan Mahmoud (Organisation of Women’s freedom in Iraq) addressed the rally.
The lobby was filmed by Al-sharkeya stalaet and Sana TV, and following the lobby they interviewed Dashty Jamal, Jean Lambert and some asylum seekers. IFIR and CSD Iraq have organised other demonstrations as part of the campaign to support Iraqi refugees across Europe.
For further information regarding the campaign and future events please visit www.csdiraq.com.