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    » 12/18/2010, 00.00

    IRAQ-SWEDEN

    Five Iraqi Christians seeking asylum returned from Stockholm. UN protest



    The UN Commission for Refugees sharply criticizes the Swedish government for the forced repatriation of five Christians who fled Baghdad for fear of attacks. "Many of the newcomers explain they left Iraq for fear of an attack, after what happened on October 31," says a UN spokesman.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Harsh criticism of the Swedish government by the United Nations Commission for Refugees after they forcibly returned five Iraqi Christians seeking asylum in Sweden. The five were part of a group of at least 20 people from Iraq. Thousands of Christians have sought a safe haven outside the borders after the massacre of 31 October in the Syrian Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation. According to unofficial sources the authorities justify the refusal by citing a situation of relative peace in the country.

    "We have heard many stories of people fleeing their homes after receiving direct threats. Many new arrivals explain that they left Iraq for fear of an attack, after what happened on October 31, "says Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the UN body in Geneva.

    "Some might take only a few things with him," adds Fleming. The deportation of the five Iraqi Christians took place a week after a suicide bomber, born in Iraq and resident in Great Britain, blew himself up in central Stockholm.

    Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the massacre in Baghdad, and said that Christians are a legitimate target. Killings and other violent incidents have followed, and according to Fleming about a thousand families have fled Baghdad to the Nineveh province in search of relative security in the Kurdish area. The UN officials in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon say that a growing number of Iraqi Christians are coming, and asking for help. In Syria alone about 133 families - 300 people - have sought refugee status in November. In Jordan, the number of asylum applications from Iraq have doubled in a month. The UN says that the return from Sweden comes at a time when officials on the spot report a growing number of cases of attacks on Christians.

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    See also

    12/01/2011 SWEDEN - IRAQ
    Baghdad wants to stop the forced return of Iraqis from Europe
    Standoff between Iraq and European country to guarantee immigrants rights. The Stockholm government continues policy of forced return. Iraqi ambassador calls for dialogue with the governments of the Old Continent.

    10/11/2010 IRAQ
    Three Christians killed and 26 wounded. Appeal of Al Maliki
    A series of attacks this morning with mortars and homemade bombs. The prime minister pays a visit to the Syrian Catholic Church attacked by al-Qaeda and calls on Christians not to leave the country. Meanwhile the first survivors arrive in France, for receive special treatment.

    25/06/2010 IRAQ – EUROPEAN UNION
    The tragedy of Iraqis in Europe, from refugees to deportees
    For several months now, the governments of Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway have been forcibly repatriating Iraqi asylum seekers and this despite concerns expressed by the United Nations. European governments are using repatriation as a way to discourage Iraqis from choosing Europe as a place of refuge.

    31/05/2007 IRAQ
    The Chaldean Church opens its Synod tomorrow in Northern Iraq.
    The meeting of Church leaders and Diaspora will focus on the conditions of the community, halved by a harsh campaign of persecution throughout the country. The Vatican’s Nuncio, Msgr. Chullikat will also be present in al Qosh. Yesterday over 1000 Iraqi emigrants along with Swedish parliamentarians took to the streets of Stockholm demanding greater protection and respect for the Christians of all denominations in Iraq.

    14/12/2010 ISLAM-SWEDEN
    Stockholm, Iraqi terrorist wanted a huge "Christmas massacre"
    Taymour Abdelwahab wanted to cause a massacre in central Stockholm, but a bomb exploded in advance. Life of man investigated to trace accomplices. Cooperation with British, U.S. and Indian security services, as well as those in Sweden. He was linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq, responsible for the massacre in the Syro-Catholic cathedral of Baghdad.



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