Sweden deports Iraqi refugeesJanuary 20th, 2011 - 4:02 am ICT by BNO News
STOCKHOLM (BNO NEWS) - Despite criticisms from activists and international organizations, a plane with 26 deported Iraqi refugees landed at Baghdad airport from Stockholm, Swedish police said Wednesday.
Police arrested about 70 protesters who were trying to stop the deportation outside the Swedish National Migration Board’s offices, Swedish website The Local reported.
The United Nations refugee agency expressed concern on Tuesday, saying that a number of those scheduled to be deported belong to religious and ethnic groups that have been targeted in recent attacks
The spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Melissa Fleming, told reporters in Geneva that those reportedly targeted for repatriation “have profiles that would warrant protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention or the European Union’s Qualifications Directive.”
Fleming added that 413 Iraqis were sent back to their country of origin from Europe last year and some 51 Iraqis have been deported so far this year.
In early December, Sweden was also criticized for deporting 20 Iraqis. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have fled the war to resettle in Sweden, with official statistics showing 117,900 people born in Iraq lived in the country in 2009, up from 49,400 in 2000.
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Tags: activists, baghdad airport, bno, country of origin, deportation, european union, high commissioner, international organizations, iraqi refugees, iraqis, melissa fleming, official statistics, protesters, refugee agency, refugee convention, repatriation, spokesperson, stockholm, swedish police, un high commissioner for refugees