The radio programme Ekot has followed 25 Christian Assyrians that Sweden has sent back to Iraq. All of them but one have escaped out of the country. The one who is till in Iraq is hiding in Mosul.
Edmund Michaels, chief of the Councelling Buro for Christians from middle East in London:
- I am shocked to hear about this. I follow the news constantly all over Europe and I did not believe my eyes, that a Swedish government would act so drastically against this small minority from Iraq. I am deeply shocked and I mean it, Mr Michaels says to Ekot.
Edmund Michaels get support from Hans ten Feld, chief of the UN refugee section in Stockholm:
- It is clear that the Christians have been a special group. They have been confonted by a continously higher risk and are therefore in higher need of protection than other groups, he says to Ekot.
In New York Michael Youash at the Assyrian organization ISDP called the deportations an ´evil deed´.
The Swedish Minister for Migration, Tobias Billström from the Moderate Party (centre-right) defends the deportations.
-There is nothing strange with this because we test each case individually. The Agency of Migration only focus on whether or not a specific individual has reasons for protection or not, he says to Ekot.
- It is of course tragical when these people are forced to escape, not matter if it happens a first, second or a third time...but Sweden can never ever be responsible for what happens to people during an unlimited time-period, Mr BIllström continues.
Only a few EU countries execute deportations of Christian Iraqis to Iraq, for example UK and Germany.
Note: The quotes are not exact.