Sign up for our newsletter ⟩
News |

Isis blew up asylum seeker’s house and office, army tortured him – but Finland is deporting him back to Iraq

An Iraqi man was denied asylum in Finland despite the Finnish Immigration Service conceding that his life would be in danger in Iraq. The Iraqi man is certain he will be killed in his homeland if he returns.

Osa päätöksestä.

Finland’s tightening of its policy on asylum seekers received another tough turn on Wednesday, when Espoo Library Regional Director Sunniva Drake published an anonymous asylum seeker's rejected application letter from the Finnish Immigration Service on social media.

Yle contacted the Finnish Immigration Service, which confirmed that the published denial of asylum letter is authentic.

In its decision, the Finnish Immigration Service states that the Iraqi man had been persecuted by Isis and tortured by the Iraqi army during 2009 to 2010. In addition, it states that Isis had blown up the man’s home and his office in Mosul and threatened to kill him and his mother. The Finnish Immigration Service considered this information as fact.

In its letter regarding its decision to turn down asylum for the Iraqi man, the Finnish Immigration Service stated that he “had perfectly met all of the criteria to qualify for asylum and there was reason to believe that he would be persecuted in his homeland.”

In addition, the Finnish Immigration Service stated in the same letter that the Iraqi man had no possibility of being protected by officials from the terrorist organisation.

Finnish Immigration Service suggested man move to Baghdad for safety

Yet the Iraqi man was denied asylum and is to be deported to his homeland. The reason? The Finnish Immigration Service felt that he had “the option of safely and legally moving to Baghdad to live” and that in Baghdad he “would not be in danger of persecution.”

According to the Finnish Immigration Service, the Isis threat is limited to Mosul and its environs.

In response to queries about the decision the Finnish Immigration Service tweeted: “We can’t take a stand or comment on individual cases.”

"I will die if I return to Iraq"

The Iraqi man is devastated by the decision.

“I know that I will die if I return to Iraq. Isis and the militia are also in Baghdad. I can’t escape them. How can I live alone in Baghdad? You can’t understand how I feel,” the Iraqi man told Yle over the phone.

He does not understand the Finnish Immigration Service’s logic.

“They believed everything I told them, but did not feel that my house being blown up was a personal threat,” he said.

The man’s deportation will not be put into force before the administrative court makes a final decision. The Iraqi man will appeal the decision.

About 500 people have been killed in Baghdad in terrorist attacks in the past year. 

Latest in: News


Our picks