Sweden returned five Iraqi Christians to the land from which they had fled, saying that a situation of “relative peace” prevailed there. Now the Iraqi government begs to differ.
Stockholm (AINA) — In a secret meeting in Stockholm by an Iraqi delegation with members of the Swedish government, the Iraqi delegation called on Sweden to stop deporting to Iraq refugees whose applications were rejected for asylum. “We cannot receive Iraqi refugees deported forcibly from Sweden because we cannot protect them and their lives will be at risk if they are returned to Iraq,” said an Iraqi diplomat….
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) strongly criticized Sweden last week for forcibly deporting people to Iraq. On December 15, in the same week when the meeting between the Iraqi delegation and the Swedish government took place, twenty Iraqis were forcibly deported to Iraq on a chartered Swedish aircraft; five of them were Christian Assyrians. This act was widely criticized by many organizations, who have pointed to the extremely volatile security situation in Iraq….
At the UNCR they had no problem answering questions about the meeting.
“The Iraqi delegation was clear about their mission; they were in Stockholm to ask the Swedish government to stop forcibly sending back Iraqis,” said Hanna Mathisen of UNHCR. “The Iraqi government cannot at this time protect anyone that is threatened. Iraq needs more time, and priority number one now is to stop more emigration, so they asked Sweden to delay all deportations until security and safety returns to Iraq.”…