UK: Fourth Kurd seized, one deported
Plymouth, UK,— The city's Kurdish community
is on the brink of going into hiding after a fourth
man was seized and another put on a flight to
northern Iraq by British immigration officials.
The 2,000-strong Kurdish community was stunned when
Jizar Ahmad was
arrested Monday morning as he attended Charles Cross
police station to 'sign on'.
Shoker Abobeker, of Plymouth's Kurdish Community
Association, said asylum-seekers were required to
'sign on' at a police station,www.ekurd.netbut
warned that many might now stop doing so after what
had happened to Mr Ahmad.
He had already revealed that some Kurds were
sleeping in cars because they were afraid to go to
their homes in case they were raided by immigration
"Lots of people are not going to sign now," Mr
Abobeker warned. "Everyone is scared.
"We are losing our friends."
Karwan Mahmud, 31-year-old, detained on February 12,
has been moved to Tinsley House Immigration Removal
Centre near Gatwick Airport.
Mr Ahmad, aged 31, from
the city centre, has lived in Plymouth for nine
years, and has worked in a factory and the catering
industry because he has a work permit.
Mr Abobeker said removing him from the country was
"not fair and against human rights".
"Jizar is a taxpayer," he said.
Mr Ahmad is the fourth Kurd detained in Plymouth
since February 6.
The Herald has been told that one of the others,
32-year-old Majid Ibrahim Amin, was put on a flight
from Stansted to the city of Erbil, capital of the
Kurdistan Autonomous Region, on Monday.
detained on February 12, has been moved to Tinsley
House Immigration Removal Centre near Gatwick
aged 25 said they had planned to marry and Mr
Mahmud,www.ekurd.netalso living in Southway, was like a father
to her five-year-old son Nathan.
Khasrow Mustafa, a leading member of Plymouth's
Kurdish community, said: "Where Karwan has been
taken is a bad place.
"That's where they send people for imminent
Mr Mahmood's girlfriend Katie Kellow, aged 25, of
Southway, is expected to visit him today, along with
others from Plymouth.
Another city delegation is expected to go to the
Campsfield House immigration removal centre, in
Kidlington near Oxford, to visit 33-year-old
from Keyham, detained on February 6.
Mr Mustafa, a close friend of Mr Abas, said
supporters had found lawyers to work on behalf of
him and Mr Mahmood.
Names are also being collected on a petition.
"We are doing out best and will see what's going to
happen," Mr Mustafa said. "It's not easy, but
hopefully we will get them out of detention."
He said Mr Amin had been "put on a plane with about
50 people", only about a week after being detained
"When he was in Campsfield House I got him a
solicitor," Mr Mustafa said. "Unfortunately they
didn't give him a chance; they took him
Mr Abobeker said it was not safe to send
asylum-seekers to Iraq despite claims that the
country had been stabilised.
He said it was still split by political and tribal
allegiances and that people who fled during the rule
of Saddam Hussein found the same enemies in place
that people "who have been here for nine or 10 years
are now integrated here".
"Iraq is not safe," he continued, "it doesn't matter
that the Iraqi Government is dealing with the (UK)
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Anyone with no
right to be here will be removed.
"If the appeal process is exhausted you will be
removed from the country. That's the way the
immigration system works."
The Home Office would not confirm or deny the names
or status of any of the detained Kurds nor discuss
flights from the country.
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