[ 24. Feb 2009 ]

Deportees talk of charter flight hell

Press Release by International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR), 17. Feb 2009.


Between fifty and fifty-five people were deported to Iraqi Kurdistan on the charter flight that left for Iraq on Monday morning and arrived in Erbil in on Tuesday morning

The flight appears to have been operated by a Czech company as the plane stopped for re-fuelling in the Czech Republic and there were apparently signs saying Czech Republic on the plane.

People were picked up in coaches run by WH Tours and Woodcock Coaches at 6 AM from Oakington, Haslar and Dover detention centres and were taken to Stansted.

Muzhdah, one of the deportees, said:

'there were 100 bodyguards with us. When we arrived in Erbil they wouldn't let us open the blinds to look outside. KRG security men took us off the plane with handcuffs and batons. They gave everyone $100 when we got off but what's that? I don't feel safe and my partner, who I was going to marry before they deported me, is back in the UK.'

Three people were apparently taken off the flight after last minute representations by lawyers and MPs. One man was flown all the way to Erbil only to be sent all the way back to London after a high court injunction was made.

Dashty Jamal from the International Federation of Iraqi refugees says:

'this is the seventh time in the last seven months that people have been deported to Iraqi Kurdistan by charter flight. The Czech airline, the coach companies, Group4, Serco, the detention centres, the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Home Office - all play a part in this and all should be condemned for playing with these peoples' lives.'

Source ::