Why do the Finnish police deport Iraqi asylum seekers if there is no repatriation agreement with Baghdad?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

In early December, National Police Board Chief Superintendent Mia Poutanen was quoted as saying in YLE News it is “a false notion” that Finland needs a repatriation agreement with a country like Iraq to deport somebody. Migrant Tales got in touch with an Iraqi asylum seeker who is being detained and risks deportation. 

KM and his friend SH were detained Friday at their asylum reception center in Laitila, located 60km north of Turku. It was in Raisio where they were apprehended by the police and taken to Turku, where they are awaiting a judge’s decision on Sunday or Monday if they will be deported or can remain in the country.

KM* and SH* have two negative decisions from the Finnish Immigration Service concerning their application for asylum.

KM is a young Iraqi being taken in a squad car to a police station in Turku from Laitila.

“We were held by the police today because they claimed that we wanted to leave the country,” KM told Migrant Tales by phone. “This is not true. We have no plans to leave Finland. I’m ready to cooperate with the authorities.”

KM said that he hasn’t been able to talk to his friend SH at the police station except on WhatsApp.

KM inside a police cell in Turku.

“I spoke to my lawyer and she said that they cannot deport us because there is no repatriation agreement between Finland and Iraq,” he added. “I can’t return back to Iraq because of the militia [which will kill me].”

Migrant Tales tried to call KM five minutes ago at 21:35 but his phone is now disconnected.

Here’s the million-euro question: If there is no repatriation agreement between Finland and Iraq, why are the police deporting Iraqi nationals back to their country?

Migrant Tales reported on December 23 that no agreement was reached between Finland and the Iraqi ministry of migration & displaced on a repatriation agreement.

The ministry of migration & displaced said that Iraq would be willing to accept Iraqi criminals but Päivi Nerg of the Finnish interior ministry said that such an agreement wasn’t possible.

*The full names of both asylum seekers have been kept anonymous because Migrant Tales is concerned about their safety in Iraq.

  1. Boiata

    It seems that in this article there are clear errors or missunderstandings. Firstly, if you get a so called second negative asylum decision (1. Immigration agency, 2. Administrative Court in Helsinki), the deportation is already possible, unless the Supreme Administrative court doesn’t stop (or stay) the deportation by a temporary order. In other words normally, the deportation is possible already after the second negative. The court decision in the article refers most probably to the evaluation a judge has to exercise, whether it is allowed to keep the failed asylum seeker in custody or not. Putting an asylum seeker in custody is a precautionary measure to make sure that the person really leaves the country.
    Most of the persons deported from Finland are sent to countries with which Finland has no deportation agreeement or arrangement. What is strange in Iraqs’ case is that why, now, suddenly, it is possible to deport failed asylum seekers to Iraq when it was not possible, before.
    It is really sad that the State of Finland steeps so low to send this poor persons – who might be well victims of a unprofessional asylum process, in the hands of the shite governement who is taking orders from the shite militia groups whose hands are full of innocent blood. Nobody seems to care about this in the Government.

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi Bolata, thank you for clearing this matter for us. We’ve been trying to do this and, yes, what you say appears to be the case. Very interesting point about why Finland is now deporting people and not before. Didn’t it deport people before or is it doing now on a more massive scale?

      Thank you.