Monday, November 29, 1999

Iraqi deportees `beaten` by British border police

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London, June 18 (DPA) More than 40 Iraqi asylum seekers deported from Britain have alleged that they were beaten by British border police to force them to board and then leave the plane taking them back to Baghdad, the BBC reported Friday.Thirty-six of the Iraqi men who were removed against their will were still being held at Baghdad airport, where they had arrived early Thursday, the BBC reported from the Iraqi capital.It said the deportation was carried out by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) under conditions of 'complete secrecy'.The UKBA declined to comment on the specific allegations, except to say that minimum force is only used as a last resort when an individual becomes disruptive or refuses to comply.The Iraqi deportees were grabbed by the neck and beaten, one of the men, Sherwan Abdullah, told the BBC.'They nearly kill them, they cannot breathe,' the Kurdish man reportedly said.The UKBA has said that the deportations were based on court rulings, which found that it was safe to return people to Iraq.But the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, cautioned against deportations in a statement from Geneva earlier this week, saying that violence and human rights violations are still prevalent in parts of Iraq.British reports said similar deportations have also been carried out by the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

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