Another young Iraqi asylum seeker faces deportation from Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri, W. Che

Another hapless asylum seeker, 24, was about to be deported a day after he was detained by the police on January 2. The deportation failed after he started to yell at the top of his voice prompting three civilian police officers to remove him off the plane. 

The asylum seeker, who is now awaiting deportation at the Metsälä immigration removal center in Helsinki, said that the police plan to deport him to Iraq next week.

While it is scandalous that a person who searches for a better life in Europe is being deported against his will, there are legal loopholes that permit deportation, like that of the Iraqi asylum seeker, to happen swiftly.

Bruises on the head and arm. An ID snapshot of the asylum seeker.

The asylum seeker’s deportation a day after he was asked to visit the police station was possible because a court hadn’t challenged the deportation order by the National Immigration Service (Migri). The asylum seeker’s lawyer should have stopped the deportation and asked the court for more time to review the case.

Some see this type of “fast-track deportation” as a loophole in the law that allows the authorities to deport people quickly irrespective if they are appealing to the supreme administrative court. In too many cases, the deported asylum seeker must wait in his home country for the supreme administrative court decision.

He is surprised how his lawyer abandoned him, too.

“I asked the lawyer to come and visit me [after they tried to deport me] to see how the police had hit me,” he told Migrant Tales by phone. “The lawyer didn’t help me at all but gave me the name of an organization I should call. I don’t remember the name of the organization.”

The asylum seeker claimed that the reason why the lawyer doesn’t offer him any help is that he’s working with the police to deport him.

Deportation day zero

“I was taken on the plane from the back door handcuffed by two police escorts,” he told Migrant Tales. “I waited for the plane to  [almost] finish boarding and then started to yell at the top of my voice. At no time did the police take off my handcuffs and a lot of people were taking pictures [with their mobile phones].”

The asylum seeker alleges that he was hit and mistreated by the police after leaving the plane and escorted to the Pasila police station.


Awaiting deportation at Helsinki’s Metsälä immigration detention center.

“One of them strangled me and held me by the throat,” he added. “I was mistreated by the police who talk nicely to you  but are violent.”

The asylum seeker, who came to Finland in July 2016, said that the police hadn’t fed him any food while in detention.

“I cannot return to Iraq because my life is in danger there,” he said. “I was in the army, and they are looking for me.”

The asylum seeker said that it was a big mistake coming to Finland because he would have had a better chance of getting asylum in countries like Sweden and Germany.

“There are no human rights in Finland,” he concluded.

Migrant Tales will continue to follow this story.

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