Home office threatens Iraqi asylum seekers – return or face destitution

Many (but certainly not all) Iraqi asylum seekers were receiving some support while our warmongering state continues to try and disentangle itself from the hellhole it has created in Iraq. While the killing still continues, the Home Office thinks now is good time to pull support and force hundreds of people to make a life or death decision – go back or starve. We can’t let this happen.

From Guardian newspaper March 13th 2008: More than 1,400 rejected Iraqi asylum seekers are to be told they must go home or face destitution in Britain as the government considers Iraq safe enough to return them, according to leaked Home Office correspondence seen by the Guardian [newspaper]. The Iraqis involved are to be told that unless they sign up for a voluntary return programme to Iraq within three weeks, they face being made homeless and losing state support. They will also be asked to sign a waiver agreeing the government will take no responsibility for what happens to them or their families once they return to Iraqi territory. […] The decision by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, to declare that it is safe to send asylum seekers back to Iraq comes after more than 78 people have been killed in incidents across Iraq since last Sunday. Donna Covey, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “It is a nasty policy, and a failed one, that doesn’t achieve its stated aim of encouraging return. Iraq is still patently unsafe and people from there are terrified of going back. Removing support in such cases only results in one thing: more hungry and homeless people living in constant fear.” She added that most Iraqis wanted to go home when it was safe but until then the government should be offering them the chance to live decently in the UK (extracts from Guardian story).