July 2nd, the Iraqi parliament took the wise decision to ban all forced returns of Iraqi asylum seekers. (http://m.guardian.co.uk/
August 13th, the Iraqi Migration Minister also confirmed this decision in a meeting with the Swedish ambassador. (http://www.momd.gov.iq/
But I’m ashamed to say that the Swedish government and police have so far chosen to ignore this decision. Already tomorrow morning, August 29th, they plan to forcefully return a large group of asylum seekers to Iraq.
Activists here in Sweden will do their best to stop the deportation (http://aktionmotdeportation.
So in order to save the asylum seekers, it would be extremely helpful if the Iraqi government, already today or tomorrow morning, could put some additional action behind the decision of July 2nd.
For example, the authorities of Iraq (such as air traffic control and border control) could make it very clear (to all involved parties) that chartered planes used for forced returns are no longer welcome to the country. They could also make it clear that any individuals subject to forced return will be put on the next plane back to Europe, at the expense of the airline company who brought them there.
I know that these measures may seem drastic and exaggerated to some. But in the end, it may be the only way left to save the lives of these Iraqi asulym seekers. And if the actions are communicated in due time, Swedish police might even give up their attempts of forced returns – before take off.
Johan Zandin, flyktingaktivist