Friday, 21 January 2011

Sweden proceeds with Iraqi deportations

Following my earlier post on the Sweden’s plans to return a group of Iraqis, CNN yesterday reported the deportation by Sweden of 26 Iraqi men. According to the report:

Several of the men are from some of what UNHCR describes as Iraq's volatile provinces -- Baghdad, Diyala, Salaheddin, Nineveh and Kirkuk. The refugee agency has appealed to countries not to deport asylum-seekers from those areas.

"Our position reflects the volatile security situation and the still high level of prevailing violence, security incidents and human rights violations taking place in these parts of Iraq," UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said Tuesday.

The agency said of the 19 men officials spoke with, 14 were from Iraq's two most dangerous cities, Baghdad and Mosul.

...The Swedish deportations are the latest by European countries. Last year, western European countries including the United Kingdom and Sweden deported more than 400 Iraqis, according to the agency.

UNHCR added that some of the returned persons “would warrant protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention or the European Union’s Qualification Directive.”

Although, as UNHCR states, Sweden does in fact have the right to refuse international protection on the basis of its asylum procedure, the inconsistency of recognition trends and numbers is highlighted and exacerbated when these inconsistencies involve asylum-seekers from Iraq, and countries like Somalia and Afghanistan. I reiterate my queries as to how EASO will shape its role in these kind of deportations.

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