Dear People of Finland,
I write this letter from a detention cell in Lappeenranta awaiting my possible deportation this week to Iraq. I’m worried and don’t know what will happen to me if I’m returned by force to Iraq. One matter is for sure: My life is in danger, and I won’t survive there.
My impression of Finland has changed: When I came to this country roughly two years ago, I was filled with hope. All I wanted back then was to live in a peaceful country. It’s all that I wanted, nothing more.
A picture taken by the Iraqi asylum seeker from his prison cell 406.
But today I’m bound by the walls of my cell and a barred window that gives me a view of the prison’s courtyard and the overcast day.
I want you to know, dear People of Finland that I’m no criminal.
My first question to you is why I am locked up in this cell? I was detained on October 23 in [the eastern Finnish city of] Mikkeli. The police tell me here that they have locked me up for already a week because I went to Germany. I fled to that country because I feared that I would be deported back to Iraq, which is apparently the case now.
Is it a “crime” if a young man like me wants a better future and to live in a country that is not consumed by war and violence? Is it a “crime” to search for a better life?
Is this the reason why I’m locked up today like a criminal in this detention cell?
An Iraqi asylum seeker,
Detention Cell 406, Lappeenranta, Finland