Deporting an asylum seeker and her child from Finland and ending up in Canada

by , under W. Che


W. Che learned of a Palestinian asylum seeker who was deported recently from Finland to Turkey but ended up in Canada. Her son and her came to Finland in 2015.

Finland locks up children in immigration removal centers like this one in Joutseno. The picture of the girl has no relation to the story. Source: Iltalehti/Migrant Tales.

This is her story:

“I am a Palestinian woman born in Iraq who applied for asylum in Finland in August 2015 and who worked as a pharmacist in Iraq. My Iraqi husband was killed by ISIS in Mosul. I was granted Iraqi citizenship based on marriage.

Five months after applying for asylum [in Finland] in 2015, I had my first interview [with The Finnish Immigration Service, Migri]. I was alone [in Fnland] with my fatherless child. I have no family or anybody to support me in Iraq. After a series of appeals and rejections, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected my appeal.

The police appeared at my home to deport me, I placed my phone and started recording while they held me from my clothes and dragged me inside my home; they were shouting [at me]. This frightened my son as he is just a child who was scared by the savage way they treated me as I cried and as they dragged me [on the floor]. We were both placed in a prison cell for two days.

After two days, they took us to the airport and put us on a flight to [Istanbul’s] Ataturk Airport in Turkey on transit to Iraq. I started screaming at the airport and asked help from the Turkish police when they wanted to put us on another flight to Iraq. It was our luck that the Turkish police officer refused to put me on that plane to Iraq and asked the Finnish police to return to Finland.

I was taken later on by the Turkish police to the United Nations office where I told them what happened to us in Finland and how badly they treated me. I showed them the video I took.

At the UNHCR I was accepted as a refugee to Canada.