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Refugees’ Rights

Published: April 14, 2008, Author: MHirch

It is a quiet war. In the face of brutality against peoples in numerous countries around the world European governments are banging their doors. People seeking asylum are made to “leave of their own free will.” Private organizations, hired to do the governments’ dirty work take care of this voluntary deportation- in many cases even through wrong legal advice. The organization bearing the euphemistic name Human Rights Austria is one such “private governmental organization.“ Officially a Non Government Organization (NGO) Human Rights Austria is completly financially dependant on the Austrian government.

Simultaneously medical doctors, so called “fit-to-fly experts,” are paid by governments to immediately provide the medical opinion needed to send the refugees back to their home countries to avoid delay and additional costs.

Traumatized and full of fear those refugees have to return to places of utter insecurity. Oftentimes life threatening circumstances are awaiting them upon their return.
These days European countries are thinking of allowing in some of the 4.5 million Iraqis seeking refuge, fearing murder, persecution and brutality. About 20 thousand of them might find temporary refuge in Germany.

The situation of the Assyro-Chaldeans, Mandaeans, Yazidi and many other minorities in Iraq are recognized to be especially precarious as they are brutally persecuted. Their security situation is worse than ever before with neighboring countries having no more capacity to accept more refugees.

During a two day conference on ethnic and religious minorities in the current Iraq this past weekend in Frankfurt am Main, Germany Iraqi minorities voiced their concerns. They reported first hand about the ongoing persecution and systematic terror which threatens whole peoples in south- central Iraq and which might mean the end of their almost two thousand year old history.

What needs to be ensured is the survival of Iraqi minorities. This is not merely about offering first aid to the people threatened by death, searching refuge in other countries, the indigenous groups maintain. This is about finding political solutions in the region- through an extensive constitutional amendment including an expansion of the federal system which grants safety and equal rights to self-determined indigenous peoples of Iraq.

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