Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/478/2182
Kurdish asylum seekers living in fear
THE DAYS of worrying, of not feeling safe and secure, are starting again. News of Kurdish asylum seekers being arrested in their houses, workplaces and on the streets is spreading in Hull's Kurdish community.
In January 2005, the Kurdish government in north Iraq signed an agreement with the British government, saying that the region is safe. So, those Kurdish asylum seekers whose cases were rejected by the Home Office will be deported back there.
Kurdish people are now being arrested - some will return to north Iraq. On 12 February a military plane deported 45 Kurdish asylum seekers.
Back in Iraq, the government has arrested members of the Iraqi refugee federation who tried to interview those deported asylum seekers.
These people left their country because of oppression for their political beliefs or their nationality but they will be deported to live under the same situation.
I interviewed Hassan Ahmad, an Iraqi Kurd playwright, theatre director and member of the Workers' Communist Party of Iraq who came to Hull in 2000. He has been threatened by right-wing Islamic groups who claimed that his famous play, Bread and Crime, abuses religion.
His life was at risk so he came to live in England, where his case was rejected by the Home Office in 2004. He told me: "Several times I was arrested while directing my plays. I was threatened by Islamic groups in the theatre. So I had to leave to survive. Now if this government deports me, who knows what I will face?
"All the doors are locked. Nobody knows who carries the keys, life has lost its meaning."
The immigration police are watching Kurdish asylum seekers in Hull. Some have been arrested whilst signing up at the police stations. But what about those who are against the current Kurdish government and have been forced to live in exile to save their own life, such as Hassan Ahmad?
In The Socialist 15 March 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Northern Ireland and Scotland
Marxist analysis: history
International socialist news and analysis
International Women's Day
Environment and socialism
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Workplace news and analysis