Thursday, February 11, 2010

URGENT: seeking forced returnees who were on the UK flight to Baghdad in October 2009

February 10, 2010 by sks

Message from Mark Henderson
I am acting with Refugee and Migrant Justice in what is now the lead case in the High Court about the charter flight of enforced removals to Baghdad in Oct 2009 where the Iraqis refused to accept most of the returnees.
It is now clear that there are disputes of primary fact as to what reason the Iraqis gave for refusing to accept the Kurds on the flight. In our case, the Home Office initially denied that any reason was given and now, following applications for disclosure and then an application re contempt of court, accept that the reason was to do with them being Kurds.
There remain however important factual disputes about what happened on the ground in Baghdad and what happened on the flight. We also allege that the escorts ill-treated a number of detainees. Tomorrow, we have the latest interim hearing in the High Court challenging the extent of Home Office disclosure and seeking orders for cross-examination of their witnesses.

We are urgently trying to trace other returnees who were on the flight who can make witness statements in the lead case about what happened on the flight and on arrival. (They may of course also have claims for unlawful detention/ assault themselves, whether or not they were released after the flight, which may depend on the findings in the lead case.)
If anyone acts for or has contact details for anyone on the flight could they please contact my instructing solicitor, Nasreen Choudhury on 020 7780 3311, email