Migrant Tales has learned from a source who is in touch with Ali, who was deported to Baghdad Wednesday that Iraq does accept people who refuse to go back despite what the Iraqi Ambassador to Finland, Matheel Dhayif Al-Sabti, said that his country doesn’t accept forced deportations.
“So, now there is nothing that Finland can do anything to those people [whom they hope to deport],” Al-Sabti told Migrant Tales last week. “Do you know why? If they want to deport them they will have to put them not on commercial flights like Turkish Airlines, they’ll have to hire an airplane guarded by the police [and] put them by force in the airplane and send them to Baghdad.”
A selfie of Ali at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Wednesday.
Ali’s case challenges what the ambassador affirms. True, the Iraqi government may not accept planeloads of deported Iraqis sent to the country but it does accept a few that fly back with other asylum seekers who are returning voluntarily.
Here’s the message (edited) that Ali sent to a friend in Finland about after the plane landed in Baghdad:
Ali arrived in Baghdad and the Finnish police went with him. They spoke to the Iraqi police at the airport in Baghdad. The Iraqi police told Ali that if he doesn’t get off the plane they’ll force him to leave. They told him that on many days they get Iraqi refugees who are deported forcibly. When a plane brings back Iraqi asylum seekers who are returning voluntarily they take one asylum seeker who is deported and put him on the same plane. The Iraqi police accept the arrangement.
We wish Ali the best and we are sorry that we couldn’t do more to help stop his forced return to Iraq.