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Protest Called in Support of Iraqi Refugees

The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees has called a protest on 16-17 April in Geneva about the plight of Iraqi refugees.

It says: The situation of the Iraqi refugees in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Europe is a tragedy. Many thousands of Iraqi refugees have resorted to begging, prostitution, selling their internal organs to avoid destitution.

European countries such as the UK, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany are treating Iraqi refugees without compassion. Many have been detained and locked up in detention centers across Europe. The Iraqi Kurdish refugees who have been lucky enough to remain free are being treated terribly. Iraqi refugees whilst waiting for permission to remain in Europe are being refused permission to work and are not given any money to support themselves leading many to become destitute.

Both the UK and Swedish Goverments have made agreement with the Iraqi Government to return failed asylum seekers. The Iraqi Government is trading Iraqi asylum seekers lives for financial gain for the KRG and Iraqi Government.

Shame on the Iraqi Government for making such a deal. They cannot provide security and safety for their citizens, which has led to thousands of people leaving Iraq, and yet they make such a dishonest deal for money in exchange for the future of Iraqi refugees lives.

Several hundred Iraqi refugees have been returned to Northern Iraq and more recently Bahgdad. The returned asylum seekers have been separated from their friends and families -- many have partners and children in Europe. Many of the returned asylum seekers are forced to live in hiding to avoid persecution. IFIR has recieved reports of asylum seekers who have committed suicide, been kidnapped or killed in car bombs.

IFIR has called a two day lobby in front of the UN office in Geneva. We ask all Human and Refugee rights campaigners and labour and Trade Union activists to stand with us to stop this policy against Iraqi asylum seekers in European country. With your help we can put an end to these policies against Iraqi and Kurdish refugees.

The International Federation of the Iraqi Refugees calls upon the United Nations to make the following demands:

1. An immediate end to the policy of enforced deportation of Iraqi Kurdish refugees by all European countries.

2. Require all European governments to recognise previous agreements between the Iraqi Kurdish government and European countries regarding the deportation of refugees as invalid because their safety simply cannot be guaranteed.

3. Require the release from prisons and detention centres of all Iraqi refugees who have been detained because of illegal entry or their leave to remain has expired. Those who have committed a crime should be charged and tried in the country where the crime was committed, not forcibly deported.

4. Demand that Kurdish and Iraqi asylum seekers be allowed to work to support themselves and have the right to family reunion.

5. Those asylum seekers who are disabled, ill, or destitute and cannot work should be treated with compassion.

6. Asylum seekers who are destitute in countries outside Europe should be supported with health services and education or transferred to a European country.

7. The United Nations should require European countries to fulfil the above demands and stop enforced deportations of refugees.

If these demands are to be met we need your support:

Please join our demonstrations outside the United Nations office in Geneva on the 16 and 17 April. For further information please contact Ahmad Ali on 0788532004 or Jamal Koshish on 0787557786. For queries regarding the campaign contact campaign co-ordinator, Rebwar Arif, rebwar.arif@hotmail.com.

If you can not attend the demonstrations please send letters calling on the United Nations to comply with the seven demands listed above to Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, Avenue de la Paix 14, 1211 Genève 10, Switzerland or fax 022 917 00 32. Please send IFIR a copy of your letter, ifir@hotmail.co.uk.

If you can, please send financial support to enable IFIR to pay for the transport costs of asylum seekers who wish to attend the demonstrations. Please send cheques payable to 'Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq' to IFIR, PO Box 1575, Ilford, IG1 3BZ.

International Federation of Iraqi Refugees


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