As deportations start to pick up in Finland since the beginning of the year so has fear among Iraqi and other asylum seekers

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The news of the detention on Friday and deportation order on Sunday of two Iraqi asylum seekers, KM and SH, came to a shock to many asylum seekers in Finland. We suspect at Migrant Tales that deporting more people to Iraq this year is a ploy used by the Finnish Immigration Service and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government to instill fear among asylum seekers. 

Migrant Tales has heard unconfirmed reports that four other Iraqi asylum seekers were detained by the police and will be deported.

Boiata commented in Migrant Tales the following about the two Iraqi asylum seekers’ cases:

“Most of the persons deported from Finland are sent to countries with which Finland has not deportation agreement or arrangement. What is strange in [the] Iraqis’ case is that why, now, suddenly, it is possible to deport failed asylum seekers to Iraq when it was not possible, before.”

I spoke to KM today and, despite everything that has happened since Friday, he was in good spirits.

KM speaking about his case in a video at the Metsälä detention center in Helsinki where he was sent Sunday. KM states in the video that he’s not a criminal and doesn’t why he’s being locked up by the police service. He said that he came to Finland to find peace.
The police cell in Turku where KM and SH were held from Friday to Sunday. Source: FRB-1.

After some investigation, it appears that Finland doesn’t – like the comment by Boiata states – need to have a repatriation agreement with any country to deport people.

Even so, we consider it exceptionally unfair and inhumane to deport people back to a country that has seen hundreds of thousands of deaths, near-constant bombings and instability after the US-led invasion in 2003.

There are some questions about who can and cannot be deported from Finland and what can be done if you are still in the country:

  • Don’t let the authorities intimidate you as is probably happening now as deportations start to pick up from the beginning of the year;
  • since you need a travel document to go to Iraq, some claim that not having a passport or hiding it from the authorities can possibly slow the deportation process;
  • the police have KM’s and SH’s passports and this is why they are going to be deported against their will;
  • one reader that got in touch with Migrant Tales Monday said that the only way to stop forced deportations from Finland is to get the Iraqi government and/or Iraqi ambassador in Finland to state clearly that Iraq will not accept any persons who are deported against their will;
  • in 2012 the Iraqi parliament voted against accepting deported Iraqis from Europe;
  • since the Finnish police service keeps a tight secret on the whole deportation process from Finland to Iraq, unconfirmed reports of asylum seekers in Sweden that were deported to Iraq refused to get off the airplane and were then flown back to Sweden;
  • go to the European Court of Human Rights and get a similar ruling as in August that returning an Iraqi family to Iraq and who sought asylum in Sweden would result in “inhumane or degrading treatment.”

If you have any advice you would like to share with us to help stop these forced deportations, please get in touch with [email protected]