‘Iraq unsafe, Kurdistan unsafe!’, were the words shouted by Iraqi and Kurdish protestors in front of the Home Office yesterday.
Around fifty refugees gathered in front of the Home Office to protest against the government’s decision to repatriate asylum seekers to Iraq, a country that it deems now to be safe. The Home Office has stated that preparations for the return of Iraqi refugees have taken place.
The situation in Iraq is still very worrying. Many perceive that they would be sent back to a place full of disorder and chaos, thus endangering their own and their families’ lives. According to Aram Saeed, a Kurd who fled Saddam’s regime a year ago, to come to Britain, ‘it is impossible to live in Iraq at the moment because of the chaos and lack of security. The place is being overrun by Islamicist and Nationalist groups who are striving for power, causing wars and more deaths’. This view is supported by Sawsan Salim from the Kurdistan Refugee Women’s Organisation. She told IRR News that the basic necessities needed for a decent living are currently lacking in Iraq and that the situation, especially for women, is very bad. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, which organised the picket yesterday, submitted a petition to the Home Office calling on the government to suspend its plans to deport Iraqis.
The picket was a part of the many activities that are being conducted all over Britain, as part of Refugee Week, from 16 to 22 June.