Yesterday’s charter flight to Iraq was returned to the UK with the majority of the Iraqi deportees returning to UK immigration detention centres. Sadly 10 of those on board were left in Baghdad.

The Stop Deportation Network together with The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees have issued a  press release with the following statements from those who have been returned to Brook House detention centre, Gatwick:

“when we landed in Baghdad an Iraqi man got on dressed in army uniform, with seven other guards with Kalashnikovs.  He asked the immigration officers why they brought us here then asked us if we wanted to come back.  He said those of you who want to come back you get off, the rest of you stay where you are.

He told the immigration officers to go away and not try to send people back by force again.

So they took us back to Italy and we had to change planes there.  About three people refused to move plane and they were beaten by security guards.  They’ve got injuries from that.  There were 130 security guards on the plane.  Why did they need so many?  There were even some arguments between the British and Italian securities.”

‘K’, who did get off in Baghdad, said this morning he did not do go voluntarily and did not want to be there, so more details are needed regarding how voluntary was the process through which the ten people who are now in Baghdad were taken off.  He said this morning:

“They forced ten of us to get off in Baghdad. They said the British Embassy would help us but they just gave us $100 and left us. I’m too scared to go to where I used to live.  Everything they told us is a lie.”