Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, July 16, 2007

Rights group calls on Germany to stop revoking refugee status of Iraqis

In November 2003, the German Federal Office for Refugees and Migration began sending letters to Iraqi refugees within Germany to notify them that their asylum status would be revoked. Human Rights Watch sent a letter to German officials on July 10 urging them to end the proposed revocations in light of the current situation in Iraq.

The German government’s letters, which have now been sent to some 20,000 refugees, state that Iraqis are no longer at risk for persecution by the government. Under the 1951 Refugee Convention, refugee status may be revoked if “the circumstances that caused a person to be a refugee have ceased to exist, but the changes that occur must be both fundamental and durable.”

The German government assures that this change in status will not mean immediate deportation. Whether or not deportation is the next step for Iraqis in Germany, Human Rights Watch argues that the revocations would send the wrong message to Iraq’s neighbors, particularly Syria and Jordan, who are shouldering the largest burdens in the massive exodus. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there are 1.9 million internally displaced persons in Iraq and another 2 million refugees outside the country.

For the full article, click here.



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