lunedì, gennaio 23, 2017

 

Archbishop of Canterbury intervenes to stop Iraqi's deportation


The archbishop of Canterbury has intervened in an attempt to prevent an Iraqi Christian who fled Islamic State jihadis from being returned to his home country.
Justin Welby wrote a letter in support of the man ahead of an appeal against his rejected asylum claim, saying he supported his application to remain in the UK.
Last week, a second letter was sent by the archbishop’s interfaith adviser, Mark Poulson, “unequivocally endors[ing]” an appeal for asylum by the man, who met him and the archbishop while working as a volunteer.
The man has already had two appeals against his rejected asylum application turned down and is seeking permission for a third appeal. He was told earlier this month to report to a Home Office centre every fortnight or risk being held in a detention centre.
In his letter, dated 28 September, Welby said he had “been impressed with his positive attitude, integrity, and the quality of his work”.
He added: “[The man] is clearly someone who wishes to contribute to society ... He is someone who would be a great asset to the United Kingdom. I strongly endorse [his] desire to seek asylum in the UK.”
The man, a Syriac Orthodox Christian, said Welby had offered to write the letter.
He and his immediate family fled their home in the Iraqi city of Mosul in August 2014 after Islamic State jihadis seized control of the area. They were among more than 100,000 Christians and Yazidis who fled north to the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan after Isis fighters threatened to kill any non-Sunni who remained in the city or the surrounding Nineveh Plains.
The man came to Britain on a student visa and applied for asylum when it expired in May 2015. His family spent a year living in a church basement in Irbil, along with other displaced people.
In his letter, Poulson said: “We have been extremely impressed with his … willingness to spend time helping others whilst his own situation is so distressing.”
In dismissing the man’s second appeal in October, judge Clive Lane agreed with the previous ruling that the appellant would be able to join his family, who “appear to live in safety” in Irbil. The man’s solicitor, Susan Liew, in seeking permission to appeal against Lane’s ruling, said it was “erroneous, perverse and irrational” to believe he could be relocated to Kurdistan given that his family are still forced to live in a church basement.
The man told the Guardian: “I feel safe in Britain. I can’t go back to Kurdistan, it’s a different government, it’s not our country. They don’t deal with us like people from the same place. It’s a different language.” He said he did not speak Kurdish and his degree would not recognised in Kurdistan.
He added that no Christian could return to Mosul at present because sympathy for Isis and intolerant ideology remained, despite military victories against the jihadis. He said it was impossible to know who the sympathisers were. “Maybe it’s your neighbour, maybe it’s someone in the next street,” he said.
He has twice met the Prince of Wales, at events at which the prince has expressed concerns for Middle Eastern Christians. The prince has said it was  “an indescribable tragedy” that Christians were facing extinction in their historic homeland because of worsening Islamist extremism.
Archbishop Welby has repeatedly voiced concern for Iraqi Christians since Isis expelled centuries-old Christian communities in 2014, and has urged the government to offer them refuge. However, three months later he suggested that offering asylum on a large scale could “drain” the Middle East of its Christians, and said that except “in extreme circumstances”, he favoured the creation of safe havens in the region.
Lambeth Palace declined to comment.

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