There are many reasons why some consider the Finnish justice and asylum system inhumane towards asylum seekers. Amnesty International has cited factors like restrictions of the right to free legal representation and reduced appeal times in 2016 as factors that have undermined asylum seekers’ situation in Finland.
Mohammed*, who came with his brother from Iraq to Finland in October 2015, was a minor of 16. Over two years later, when he became an adult, his brother was deported to Baghdad on Tuesday, May 29.
“My brother and I are close,” said Mohammed’s brother. “We were always together and even made the difficult journey to Finland from Iraq together.”
Mohammed’s brother said that after receiving three rejections for asylum and a new one for a new case, his brother was asked to visit on May 15 the Mikkeli police station.
“The police told him that he had to sign a paper to return to Iraq,” he said. “My brother refused and told him that he would never return to Iraq voluntarily.”
On that day, Mohammed was detained, put in a police cell and sent to the Joutseno immigration removal center.
Since he did not have the services of his former lawyer, he was given one by the state pending his deportation.
Mohammed’s last days spent in Finland were in a small room at the Joutseno immigration removal center.
“Even if my brother sent numerous messages to the lawyer and even if she promised she never visited him in Joutseno,” he said.
According to Mohammed’s brother, the lawyer had assured his brother that he would not be deported.
“My brother had an appointment with the judge about whether he would be deported,” Mohammed’s brother said. “She said she had made a new appointment with the judge but later denied that she had ever made such a meeting.”
“They deported my brother despite the lawyer’s assurances that it would not happen,” he said. “I got a message on Tuesday (May 29) from my brother that he was at the airport and they were going to deport him.”
Mohammed’s brother states that the lawyer didn’t do anything to help his brother and lied to him.
Mohammed told his brother in Baghdad not to worry about him, even if returning to Iraq is a shock and even if he doesn’t dare to venture outside his home for too long.
Migrant Tales hopes to publish soon a letter from Mohammed about his stay in Finland and his return to Iraq.