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Press Release

Press Release

14 March 2008

More than 1400 Iraqi asylum seekers will face a choice between being sent home and destitution in Britain, a leaked Home Office memo revealed.

The threatened Iraqis are to be told that unless they sign up for a voluntary return programme to Iraq within three weeks, they face being made homeless and destitute. They will also be asked to sign a waiver agreeing the government will take no responsibility for what happens to them or their families once they return to Iraqi territory.

"Iraqi refugees are people who have survived the most terrible experience, fleeing from war, sectarian cleansing and terror. Some of them witnessed their relatives being murdered." Said Jabbar Hasan of Iraqi Association in London.

At the Iraqi Association, we are now seeing hundreds of people every month, who come to our west London offices seeking help and support.

"Today in Britain, thousands of these traumatised people face a life of severe hardship." Said Jabbar Hasan.

"Central and south Iraq is not safe." said Jabbar Hasan. Even the UNHCR said its policy was that returns of asylum seekers to central and southern Iraq and for some categories to the north of the country were not advisable because of the continuing conflict.

Only yesterday we have heard from Mosul city that a Chaldean Catholic archbishop kidnapped in northern Iraq last month was murdered. The body of Paulos Faraj Rahho was discovered near the northern city of Mosul. We strongly condemn this outrages and heinous crime.

For more information please contact Jabbar Hasan on 020 8741 5491 Email: info@iraqiassociation.org

Notes to editors:

- Iraqi Association is a non-sectarian organisation, every year we help more than 6000 people.

- While women and children are the main victims of the war in Iraq, we operate IraqChild appeal, helping vulnerable children in Iraq, those who have been affected by war and violence. You can donate online using our secure Website www.iraqiassociation.org

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Registered as the Iraqi Community Association under Charities Act 1993 No. 1101109
and Companies Act 1985 & 1989 No. 4684099
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