Between fifty and fifty-five people were forcibly deported to Iraqi Kurdistan yesterday afternoon on a specially chartered mass deportation flight, operated by Alitalia airlines.
Four white coaches took deportees from Tinsley House, Brook House, Colnbrook and Dover immigration prisons, with others brought in G4S vans. The flight left Stanstead at 5pm and arrived in Erbil International Airport at 10 in the evening. Each person was given $100 then left at the airport.
One of the deportees, Hassan Ahmad, 35, has told the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees:
‘I was woken up early morning. Me and my friend in the cell refused to get up but all these security guards came in and forced us up and out onto buses – they were very rough. Why do they treat us like this? I lived an honest life in Hull. I lived there for ten years. I had an active life there, I was always good to people. They’ve taken me away from my girlfriend and my best friend. For what? None of us wanted to go back and none of us should have gone back.’
At least two people were not deported due to last minute representations by their local communities, solicitors and MPs, supported by IFIR and Medical Justice (see, for example, here).
Samera Ahmed of the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees says:
‘the UK Government continues to attack the Iraqi people. They are sending them back to a country that is under a government that has no respect for the human rights, which they continue to prop up so they have access to exploit the country further.’