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Monday, November 21, 2005 

Iraqi Kurds forcibly deported.

Another triumph for our caring, sharing and most of all compassionate New Labour government:

The deportees landed yesterday afternoon at the newly opened Irbil airport in northern Iraq and were given $100 (£58) each. They were reassured that they were in a "safe environment" and would be provided with transport to their home towns.

The decision to begin the long-threatened programme under cover of darkness reflects its political sensitivity. Previous attempts have been abandoned in the face of last-minute legal action and objections from the UN high commissioner for refugees.

"We can confirm that 15 Iraqi nationals with no leave to remain in the UK were removed," the Home Office said in a statement. "The government announced its intention to commence enforced returns in February 2004 and these removals bring Iraq into line with arrangements we have with other countries. All those removed were informed in advance and have been given assistance to help re-establish themselves in Iraq. It is important for the integrity of our asylum system that any individual found not to be in need of international protection should be expected to leave the UK.

"Enforced returns are on a case by case basis and only to areas assessed as sufficiently stable and where we are satisfied the individuals will not be at risk."

A quick search on the Guardian's website suggests that there's been at least 2 suicide bombings in Irbil this year. The whole of the country is still very volatile. Why are these people being deported back to countries which are by no means safe? Is this an attempt to get the figures down, and appease the tabloids press which never shuts up about spunging immigrants? Who knows, but when it endangers the lives of those who came here to escape Saddam, and when they are deported back to a country in turmoil following our enforced military liberation, don't we owe them something more?

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