Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Sweden and Iraqi Refugees

ICC Note

Sweden is forcing Iraqi Christian refugees to leave its country. This will put the lives of Iraqi Christians in greater danger.

02/26/2010 Sweden (AINA)-On the Run Again is a series of reports broadcast on national Swedish radio in the fall of 2009, uncovering Sweden ‘s ongoing and unreported mass expulsion of Christians and other vulnerable non-Muslim Iraqi refugees to Iraq .

Despite Sweden ‘s reputation as one of the most generous countries in the world in accepting Iraqi refugees, less than half of the Iraqi asylum-seekers already in the country have actually been allowed to stay. The others, more than 10,000, many of them Christians or from other religious minorities, are forced back to a country where religious persecution and ethnic and religious cleansing is well documented (report).

The reports cover the investigation of the covert and surprising agreement between Sweden and Iraq on the massive return of Iraqis, the confusing asylum court decisions, the devastating lack of knowledge in Sweden about religious cleansing in Iraq, and the very desperate situation for the expelled — whether in hiding in Iraq or trying to get out, already on the run in the neighboring countries, or still in Sweden, fearing to be returned, voluntarily or forcefully. Many go into hiding. The reports uncover the real face of Swedish generosity to Iraqi refugees, the unfair court orders and the desperation of the victims of the Iraqi war, once again on the run from their country. The reports have now forced Sweden to change it’s asylum policy towards religious minorities from Iraq .

Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq , more than 2 million Iraqis have fled the country. Most of them are still refugees in neighboring countries. Until 2008 very few made it to the U.S, but many were welcomed by Sweden . In fact, it became known as one of the most generous countries in the world in accepting refugees from this conflict.

But the truth was that Swedish hospitality was beginning to diminish. Less than half of the asylum seekers were accepted from 2003 to 2008, and the Swedish Migration Court of Appeals decided in 2007 there was no “internal armed conflict” in Iraq . Thus, even less Iraqi refugees were granted asylum, and those already rejected could now be forcibly returned to Iraq . The Swedish government declared 2009 as the first “Year of Return” for the Iraqis.

[Go to the Full Story]