An Iraqi Christian who fled Islamic State executioners in Mosul
says he faces ‘slow-motion genocide’ if deported from Britain. He spoke
to RT as thousands prepare to march in central London, demanding Prime
Minister Theresa May do more for refugees.
Sarmad Ozan, 25, who was a
deacon at his church in Mosul before Islamic State (IS, formerly
ISIS/ISIL) seized the city in summer 2014, is appealing a Home Office
decision to deny him asylum.
He was rejected despite evidence of the widespread persecution of Iraq’s Syriac Orthodox Christians and a bloody sectarian war.
still appealing because it’s impossible to go back to a place with
nothing. Our house is taken by ISIS. Everything taken by ISIS. Even our
neighbors are now supporting ISIS,” Sarmad told RT.
“It’s like someone going back to die. That means if they want to send me back, they want to kill me.”
are expected to march to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 17,
to demand the British government do more in response to the global
Vulnerable asylum seekers like Sarmad instead
often face a culture of disbelief and incomprehension when processed by
the Home Office.
“They call it a slow-motion genocide for the
Christians inside Iraq,” Sarmad explains, recounting the rise of
sectarian killings that followed Britain and America’s disastrous 2003
“They are killing them day after day, 10 people
in one day. Or maybe they will bomb a church. From 2003 until 2014 they
used to bomb churches inside Mosul. They killed bishops and priests
inside Mosul and even Baghdad and everywhere in Iraq. And the government
cannot do anything for them.”
“The situation there is unsafe and unstable. Even the Home Office
admit that it is unstable inside Iraq and don’t advise anyone to travel
to Iraq, but they want us to go back.”
Human rights NGOs have condemned Britain’s failure to take its fair
share of refugees fleeing conflict and repression. They have also
alleged a number of failings in the government’s asylum processes,
including outdated and misinterpreted country profiles, a lack of
resources and poor training.
Speaking to RT ahead of Saturday’s
demonstration, Asylum Aid spokeswoman Zoe Gardner said Britain is
failing to pull its weight, instead spending ever greater sums of money
keeping refugees out, including the recent decision to build a concrete
barrier around the port of Calais.
“If someone has fled ISIS
from Iraq or somebody has fled Sudan and the repressive government
there, and they’ve crossed deserts and they’ve ridden in trucks and
they’ve escaped human traffickers and they’ve possibly experienced
sexual assault along the way and they’ve crossed the Mediterranean and
they’ve slept in lorries and they’ve arrived in Calais and we’ve built a
five meter wall – is that going to be what stops them? No. But that’s
what gets a good headline for the government, ‘we’re being tough, we’re
building a wall,’” said Gardner.
“It doesn’t do anyone
any good, it doesn’t help, it costs a lot of money to the taxpayer and
that money could be better spent on well-functioning, humane systems to
work out who these people are and how we can help them.”
Gardner further criticized Britain’s poor humanitarian contribution, especially compared with its military commitments.
UK is now the second-biggest arms dealer in the world and two-thirds of
the arms we’ve been selling since 2010 have gone to the Middle East. So
we’re number two in terms of arms dealers but we don’t even make the
top 50 in terms of refugees per thousand population. We’re not even
“So our priorities in terms of how we
intervene in the Middle East and in other unstable regions seem to be
very much skewed towards war, guns, death, bombs, drones. These things
make a lot of money for a lot of very powerful companies.
think it’s pretty stark when you see how much we are contributing to
the instability globally and then how little we are willing to pick up
RT has approached the Home Office for comment on its refugee policy. It is yet to respond.