Tuesday, July 5, 2022


European court saves Iraqi refugee in Britain from deportation to Rwanda

 European court saves Iraqi refugee in Britain from deportation to Rwanda

Protests in London against government plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. Photo: Reuters

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – The first flight scheduled to take migrants from Britain to the East African country of Rwanda was cancelled last week following a last-minute ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

An Iraqi young man who migrated to Britain illegally narrated the details of a harsh journey in which the British authorities used force in an attempt to deport him with six other migrants on the same plane.

Barham Hama Ali, a 25-year-old bachelor, from Saidsadiq town located 60 kilometers south-east of Sulaymaniyah city in northern Iraq, said that he sought refuge in the United Kingdom hoping to escape the bad situation in his country, according to a statement to AFP.

Ali, during his stay in a camp near the British capital, added that the economic conditions are bad and unemployment is widespread in the Kurdistan region, the thing that prompted him to leave.

The young man explained that he arrived in the United Kingdom through Turkey and then France. During his long journey, he took risks and spent about 15 thousand USD.

Upon his arrival on May 23, the British authorities transferred him to a camp where he stayed for two days, and then gave him a letter asking him to name a lawyer to discuss his situation and request asylum, then transferred him to the Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre near Heathrow Airport in London.

On June 3, they gave him a ticket to Rwanda, then was transferred with six other migrants to the airport, to be one of the first group of illegal immigrants the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to deport them to Rwanda.

The British guards forcibly put them on the plane. “We were all crying, we were in mental and physical pain,” Ali explained.

But the flight was cancelled after they boarded the plane, and they were sent back to the same camp.

Ali explained that a week passed since that adventure, but he does not know what would happen to him. “I ask to stay in Britain, we asked for asylum in the UK because our lives were not safe, and now they want to take us to a war-torn country,” he said.

“I am afraid they will decide to move us to Rwanda in the end, this means death for us,” Ali said in a trembling voice.

The British government decided last week to prepare a plane to take off to Rwanda from a British military airport carrying seven migrants.

The government says the aim of its plan to send asylum seekers who arrive in its territory illegally to Rwanda, more than six thousand kilometers away, is to curb illegal immigration across the English Channel.