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03:43 | 24th June 2017

News: UK

Tue 27 Apr, 2010
By Sam Bristowe


At least 25 men and boys thought to be gay who were killed in February last year, and at least eight Christians killed in Mosul in February during apparent sectarian attacks

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The UK is among several European countries defying international rules by returning asylum seekers to Iraq despite continuing violence, a human rights group said.

Amnesty International accused Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden of forcibly repatriating Iraqis to "extremely dangerous" parts of the country - in breach of United Nations guidelines.

The campaign body said there have been more than 100 civilian deaths in the first week of April alone - with religious and ethnic minorities, females and gay men being particularly targeted.

Amnesty is calling for the return of failed asylum-seekers only when the security situation in the whole country has "stabilised".



Its report claims hundreds of thousands of people in minority communities have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the continuing insecurity more than seven years after the US-led invasion. These include thousands of Christians, as well as members of the Sabean-Mandaean religion, Yazidis and women and girls targeted for "un-Islamic" behaviour.

Amnesty said many of those at risk had been killed - including dozens of women murdered in Basra on "moral" grounds, at least 25 men and boys thought to be gay who were killed in February last year, and at least eight Christians killed in Mosul in February during apparent sectarian attacks.

The campaign group said the uncertainty over when a new Iraqi government would be formed had led to the recent increase in attacks.
Amnesty's Middle East director Malcolm Smart said: "Iraqis are still living in a climate of fear seven years after the US-led invasion. The Iraqi authorities could do much more to keep them safe, but over and over they are failing to help the most vulnerable in society.

"The continuing uncertainty as to when a new government will be formed following last month's election could well contribute to a further increase of violent incidents of which civilians are the main victims. The uncertainty is threatening to make a bad situation even worse. Both the Iraqi authorities and the international community must act now to prevent more unnecessary deaths."

In October last year the UK deported 44 failed Iraqi asylum seekers to Baghdad, but the Iraqi authorities allowed only 10 of them to enter the country.

Source: Press Association

 

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