UK plans mass deportation of Iraqis; Hunger strike in detention centre.

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from NCADC
At least 70 Iraqi refugees have been rounded up in the UK over the last few weeks, as the UK government plans a controversial mass deportation charter flight to Baghdad.

NCADC has been contacted by several detainees and their friends over the last few days. One such caller was Joanne, from County Durham. She has been living with her partner Adam Aziz Ali for almost 4 years, but he was snatched while at his regular reporting at the Home Office and is now in detention facing imminent removal.

The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) has confirmed that around 24 detainees at Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre have started a hunger strike in protest. A solidarity demonstration has been called outside the centre at 6pm tonight (see below for details)

Officials from the Iraqi government are currently visiting detainees to confirm their identities so that they can be deported, as part of an agreement between the two governments. The majority of the detainees have refused to meet with the officials in protest at their role in the deportations.

A statement from the IFIR, which consists of Kurdish and Iraqi refugees, says:

“Some of us don’t have any homes or nowhere to go in Iraq. If we were returned we would be left to survive for ourselves on the streets with nothing. Some of us don’t even know if our family members are alive or dead”

“While we have been in England, for all different amounts of times, we have lived here safely and got on with our lives. We have family and friends here. Some of us are engaged or married, and have wives here in England. We also have children here, some of us more than one. Some of our wives are expecting babies. They need to be together as families.’

Dashty Jamal from the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees says:

‘The UK government is responsible for the tragedy in Iraq. They are playing politics with the lives of Iraqi refugees. They are making a deal with the despotic Iraqi regime, which the Iraqi people are currently rising up against, to send people back.’

There will be a demonstration outside the Iraqi Parliament in Sulaymania on Sunday 12th June to protest against the deportations.

UK Demonstration in support of Iraqis and Kurds on hunger strike:

6:00 Thursday 9 June 2011
Main gate – Campsfield House IRC
Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, OX5 1RE
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