UK among countries defying UN over returning refused asylum-seekers despite violence
Amnesty International has today called on the Iraqi authorities to urgently step up the protection of civilians amid a recent surge of violence in the country.
Groups like religious and ethnic minorities, journalists, women and girls, and men perceived to be gay have particularly been targeted, said Amnesty, as it published a 28-page report – Iraq: civilians under fire – accusing the Iraqi authorities of failing to protect those at risk.
Ongoing uncertainty over when a new Iraqi government will be formed has led to a recent spike in attacks, with more than 100 civilian deaths in the first week of April alone.
The report also points out that the UK is among several European countries defying current United Nations guidelines over not returning refused asylum-seekers to extremely dangerous parts of Iraq. For example, in October the UK forcibly removed 44 Iraqis to Baghdad. In the event this led to a reported stand-off with Iraqi soldiers boarding the plane on arrival; 34 of the group were eventually flown back to the UK.