Iraqi asylum seeker gets asylum application turned down as his family members are attacked by the militia

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) is planning to reassess the security situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia after an initial assessment in May deemed these countries to be safe to return asylum seekers.

Migrant Tales reported recently a shooting and two deaths of asylum seekers who returned back to “safe” Iraq. That was followed by a story published in Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday.

In spite of assurances that countries like Iraq are “safe” to return asylum seekers, the latest pictures that we have received of violence in Iraq tell us a very different story.

Jihad Al Baghdadi* is an asylum seeker who arrived in Finland on September 19, 2015, and who got his asylum application turned down by Migri over a year later on November 3.

“Even if I was 80% certain that I’d get a negative decision [from Migri],” he said. “I was in shock for about a week. I have a  two-year-old daughter who lives in Iraq and I want to bring her to Finland away from the violence there.”

Al Baghdadi used to work for a security company in Iraq that is linked to the US Army.

The Iraqi asylum seeker said that he left Iraq because he didn’t want to spy for the Jaish al Madhy militia group or have anything to do with the extortion and killing of people.

According to Al Baghdadi, the militia wants to find his daughter so they can force him to return to Iraq.

Jihad’s four-year-old nephew after he was run over by a driver belonging to the Jaish al Mahdy militia. The boy needed two operations and stitches on his face.

The militia stepped up its pressure on Jihad’s family from June. They questioned his father and asked about Jihad’s daughter. He was beaten up by them on the street and suffered rib injuries as a result.

In September, they ran over his nephew (see picture above) and the following month of October they attacked his brother and beat him with a metal rod.

Jihad’s brother after being beaten with a metal rod.

So why is the militia so desperate about finding Jihad’s daughter?

“If they kidnap my daughter that will force me to return to Iraq and start working for them,” said Al Baghdadi. “As I mentioned, I don’t want to extort people or be a killer for the militia.”

* Jihad Al Baghdadi is a pseudonym.