Dear People of Finland,
I write this letter from a detention cell in Joutseno* 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, Joutseno, Finland
* The asylum seeker who was locked up in this cell thought he was in Lappeenranta but in fact he was at the Joutseno immigration removal center located 20km away.