An appeal by Iraqi asylum seekers in Finland to the Finnish people and government
Read on the 12th of October 2015 at Visitor’s centre of the Finnish Parliament
We, refugees from Iraq, ask the Finnish people and the Finnish government for protection and asylum.
Iraq, especially its capital Baghdad, are dangerous areas with arbitrary violence. We didn’t risk our lives through dangerous journeys by sea and land to come here looking for food or money. We came because of the insecurity and threats imposed on us and our families by the Iraqi government and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. We cannot go back to Iraq since most of us will face death or incarceration. We came to Finland to find hope, safety and a dignified life.
The current Iraqi government does not PROTECT nor REPRESENT us. It is supporting and supported by militias who enforce sectarian violence and killings of innocent civilians on daily basis. It is also implicated with the ISIS. The government is not even able to provide basic services like electricity and it is deeply corrupted. For these reasons we have been protesting against the Iraqi government for years, in our homeland and abroad.
Despite knowing this, the Finnish immigration authorities and the foreign minister are negotiating a readmission agreement with the Iraqi government to deport Iraqis back. The immigration authorities have also frozen our asylum applications as part of their plan to restrict the criteria for granting asylum. They aim to wrongfully identify certain areas like Baghdad as “safe” although they are clearly dangerous zones. Thus they are planning massive rejections of Iraqis’ asylum applications and their subsequent deportation.
Death rates are very high in Baghdad, but the Iraqi government is engaged in a cover up through its media propagating false information about Iraq as a safe country. Do not depend on government sources or news channels. The fake security reports issued by the government always report the casualties of bombings and explosions much lower than the real ones. Assassinations, kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, imprisonments and death sentences by the government, administration and their militias are NEVER mentioned in these reports. These are the daily reality in Iraq. Different militias make a normal life impossible. Some militias work for the government, others are armed, trained and even lead by external powers with interests in the area. For many decades Iraq has been the battleground of global powers and right now the situation is getting worse. No one can know how the crisis will evolve in even the next months due to current instability in the region.
The Iraqi government has to secure the country before people can return to Iraq. As long as the foreign minister Al-Jafari and other MP’s do not bring their own families to Iraq from the UK and other safe countries and as long as he and other ministers and MP’s only move around in Baghdad in bullet proof cars and with a convoy of security, we can be sure about one thing: Iraq is not safe. The Finnish government and the Finnish people should consider the situation carefully.
No deportations to Iraq! No deportations to Baghdad! We demand that the Finnish immigration service base their judgement of security in Iraq on the truth that is presented by the Iraqi refugees and the human rights organisation’s reports. The Iraqi government does not represent us nor protect us. We ask for protection in Finland.
We denounce any ongoing negotiation with the Iraqi government and we denounce any planned declarations of Iraq as “safe”. We call upon Finnish people to support us. Do not put our lives into danger! Do not trade with the lives of the Iraqi people and Middle Eastern refugees!
We demand that the Finnish government speed up the processing of our applications and grant us asylum. We are tired of remaining hostages for months. We want to bring our families who are facing risk in Iraq, in the neighboring countries or transit countries.
We denounce the Finnish media defamation that focuses on Iraqi refugees not accepting Finnish food. Media should report on the problems and real insecurities in our home country that have pushed us to look for refuge abroad.
Stop the discrimination between refugees from the Middle East: the conflict is the same.
Support our demands, contact: