Asylum Failure For Iraq War Aides

Asylum failure for Iraq war aides

Michael Evans
From The Times
January 29, 2008

BASRA Nearly 400 Iraqis employed by British Forces in southern Iraq have had their applications to live in Britain rejected after they took up the Governments offer of residency, the Ministry of Defence told The Times yesterday.

The 383 interpreters and other locally employed Iraqis who have been turned down represent more than half of the applicants. Of the 725 in total, only 342 had passed a screening process carried out in Iraq.

By contrast, Denmark announced yesterday that it had granted asylum to nearly 370 Iraqi civilians who had worked for its military in Iraq. None of the asylum claims filed by former Iraqi employees had been rejected, the Danish immigration service said.

The Iraqis employed by Danish troops left Iraq in July on military flights that were kept secret until after their arrival, for fear that extremists might try to attack the aircraft. The Iraqis hoping to settle in Britain have been told to make their own way to a third country before being processed as refugees.

Iraqis employed by the British are eligible for the resettlement scheme only if they began work after January 1, 2005. The MoD has decided that these Iraqis had the closest and most sustained association with British troops, in circumstances judged to be uniquely difficult. Those applying have to prove 12 months continuous service.