Collective deportations of 78 Iraqis to Bagdad

We heard through the Flemish media that the Office was busy organising the ‘voluntary return’ of 78 Iraqis. 40 will be put on a plane this Friday 18th of September 2015 and 38 on Wednesday 23rd of September 2015.

The CGRA had announced the temporary freezing of the decisions related to Iraqis’ asylum requests; on the CGRA website one could read on September 3rd 2015: ‘After a first analysis of the asylum requests recently introduced by people from Bagdad (Iraq) it appears that a certain number evoke rather similar facts, in a rather stereotyped manner, and that they do not submit enough credible evidence of the real risk they would incur in case of return. Besides, other sources report that the current security conditions in Bagdad are not the same anymore as those which prevailed in 2014 and that the situation does not justify anymore the assertion according to which any person from Bagdad was running a real risk of serious violation in case of return.’ See more:

On September 9th 2015 we had been informed of the presence of 15 Iraqis in the 127bis closed centre. On September 14th they were 25 and they were calling out for help.

No more news since then. None of them wanted to speak to us anymore. NGOs were alerted and tried to get in touch with the centre and the detainees but in vain.

And rightly so! the Flemish media informed us that 78 Iraqis ‘have accepted’ a voluntary return and that they will be put on a plane on Friday 18th of September and Wednesday 23rd of September 2015 respectively.

Art here

But why are the Iraqis concerned- the ones who accepted a voluntary return- being detained? And why aren’t they willing to speak to anyone anymore?

What do these immediate deportations organised by CGRA and the Foreigners Office mean, 15 days only after the decisions on the freezing, with no clear view on the situation overthere?

It seems obvious that the majority of the people concerned was put under pressure and they have been forbidden any contact with the outside.

For us, the expression ‘voluntary return’ announced by the decision-makers equals to collective deportations by charter and under threat of violence.

Nothing will stop our Belgian and European authorities refusing or ejecting, be it at the borders or in European countries, to pursue their war against migrants, migrants who have been declared for several years.


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