IRAQI refugees in Kirklees face deportation now the Home Office has said the country has “no internal armed conflict”, a human rights organisation warns.
The Huddersfield Human Rights Centre (HRC) says Iraqi asylum seekers will not qualify for Humanitarian Protection under the Immigration Rules because they are not at risk of serious harm.
HRC says several hundred refused Iraqi asylum seekers are living in “a state of limbo” with no right to work and the constant fear of deportation.
The Centre adds such rules were upheld at an immigration tribunal in Bradford last month where a refugee, who does not want to be named, originally from Kirkuk province, was refused asylum.
In reasons for his refusal, it says: “It is not considered that the situation in Iraq or more particularly, Kirkuk province is one of internal armed conflict.
The report adds: “You have claimed you fear returning to Iraq on account of ‘explosions’...You have provided no evidence to demonstrate you are at real risk of being killed or coming to serious harm over and above the general population.”
HRC co-ordinator Alan Brooke said: “In a month when over 100 civilians have been killed in suicide bombings and nine or more civilians killed by US forces, it is a sick joke for the Home Office to be implementing this ruling.
“People’s rights are being removed in a game of legal phrase-mongering. It is just the latest episode in the string of lies the British public have been fed about Iraq.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Each case is considered individually and on its own merits against the background of the latest available country information and in accordance with our international obligations.
“The situation in Iraq is closely monitored and caseworkers are being provided with regular country information updates on the current situation.
“It is important for the integrity of our asylum system that any individual who is found not to be in need of international protection and this is upheld by the courts, should be expected to leave the UK.
“Voluntary returns are preferable to enforced returns but if people do not leave voluntarily, we will enforce their return. Iraq is no different in this regard.
“We would only return those who are not at risk of persecution and do not need humanitarian protection.
“Enforced returns will be taken forward on a case by case basis, where we are satisfied that the individual is not in need of international protection.”