Since the 3rd of March, the Danish Refugee Board has decided to put cases from Mosul on hold. New Times has met some of the asylum seekers from Mosul, who express their despair about this decision
I’m from Mosul, and when I talk to my relatives there, they tell me about victims I know personally. Some families have died completely. And they still do so as I am told when I get through to my family in Mosul.
I have met with some of the other asylum seekers from Mosul to hear their thoughts about the decision from the Danish authorities.
“I feel like a prisoner who does not know when they will judge him, but there is nothing I can do, but wait. I do not consider it a safe place to live because of the great hostility among people.
For me, I am an old man, I have no plans for the future, like getting a job or getting more education, but I hope to live the rest of my life in peace and safety. I don’t hope they force me to go back. It’s something I don’t think they will do, because they are a country with human rights. The best proof is me getting my medical care like any Danish citizens. I’ve came out of my country compelled, we only wanted to survive. We thank Denmark for what it has given us; security shelter and health care. So we hope Denmark will complement her humanity and give us a permission. We are peaceful people, we want to live in peace. We are trying to benefit from some refugees with university degrees (high education), we want Denmark to give us a helping hand, and we will be the best.”
“I don’t exaggerate, I would say. My feeling now is like a dead being, I feel like a restricted person.
The number of asylum seekers coming from Mosul is few, I don’t think they deserve all this wait. I can’t go back to Iraq. I no longer have a house because ISIS has blown it up. Also, I no longer have work there. I don’t know, what the Immigration service was thinking when they put the cases on hold. They have surrounded the refugees. I want to get a job, a license, and to live as a human being. I didn’t come here just to eat and sleep; I want to be a useful and effective person in society. The end of the war in Mosul does not mean everything is over, because when Al-Qaeda terrorist group vanished, ISIS came, and after ISIS, another group will certainly emerge. It is a duplicate scenario because we have not been comfortable since US forces entered Iraq in 2003.”
According to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq-UNAMI, as of 30 April 2017, a total of 489,000 people remain displaced from Mosul, some 419,000 of these individuals from western Mosul city alone. Since the start of operations on 17 October 2016, 580,384 people have been displaced from Mosul.
So far, the Iraqi government refuses to give any official figures on the number of civilian casualties in the city since the start of the fighting, but figures issued by Iraqi military and relief sources said that the death toll of civilians from the population of Mosul was about 13 thousand dead, more than half of them women and children. The number of injured is about 25,000. According to the Director of the Peace Organization for Human Rights, Dr. Mohamed Ali, the number of 13 thousand, including Mosul and its suburbs, and may be much more if all the bodies were removed under the rubble.
Not the first group to be put on hold
For more information about the Mosul issue, New Times made contact with the head of the organization Refugees Welcome, Michala Bendixen:
“We don’t know much about this, actually only that all cases from Mosul have been put on hold right now to see where the situation is going”.
And when we asked her if such a situation had happened before, she said:
“Other situations have been put on hold too. The Bosnians waited two years to get asylum in the 90’s. Eritrean cases were not decided for four months in 2014, waiting for a report. Dublin transfers to Italy and Hungary have been put on hold for one year, waiting for court decisions in ECHR. Italian cases ended up getting transferred anyway, and Hungarian cases were opened in Denmark. It’s not unusual to wait for some kind of information before deciding on pending cases.”