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Iraq urged to stop deportation of Iranian Ahwazi refugees

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 15, 2011

Amnesty International has urged the Iraqi authorities to prevent the forcible return to Iran of several members of the Ahwazi Arab minority amid fears that they would be at serious risk of torture and other human rights violations in Iran.

Two recognized refugees, Shahhed Abdulhussain Abbas Allami and Saleh Jasim Mohammed al-Hamid, are currently being detained in Basra prison, while a third man has already been transferred to the custody of Iranian officials in Iraq.

At least three other Ahwazi Arabs, all members of the same family, are also at serious risk. They are believed to have been detained by the Iraqi authorities at the request of the Iranian government because their father is an Iranian political activist, currently exiled. Two members of this family, both aged under 18, have already been handed to Iranian officials in Iraq and their subsequent fate is unknown.

“The Iraq authorities must not allow these members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority to be sent back to Iran,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“In the past other cases of Ahwazi Arabs forcibly returned to Iran have faced torture. Amnesty International fears that these individuals would be at real risk of human rights violations if they are returned, and it would be a breach of Iraq’s obligations under international law.”

States are not permitted to return individuals to countries where they would be at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations.

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