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New action against deportations to Iraq

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New action against deportations to Iraq
07:20 CEST+02:00
A group of activists gathered outside of a Migration Board (Migrationsverket) facility north of Gothenburg on Tuesday night in an attempt to halt another round of Iraqi deportations.

Shortly before 9pm, around 80 demonstrators had gathered outside the facility in Kållered.

According to information from the group Aktion mot deportation ('Action Against Deportation'), around 25 to 30 Iraqis were set to be transported from the facility to Gothenburg's Landvetter airport where they were to board a chartered plane destined for Iraq.

"We're going to try to stand in the way and with active non-violence, attempt to block the deportations and we're going to stay as long as needed," the group's Sara Johansson told the TT news agency.

"This is about minorities who risk both persecution and death."

Police were on hand with more than a dozen mini-vans and shortly before 9pm an officer used a megaphone to urge the demonstrators to move or risk being detained for disobeying a police order.

When none of the demonstrators showed any signs of moving, police physicaly removed the activists and placed them on the ground nearby.

Shortly thereafter, a bus pulled out of the Migration Board facility and the transport of the Iraqi deportees drove past on its way to the airport.

As of late Tuesday night, it was unclear exactly how many activists had been detained.

"We're not going to comment at this time," police spokesperson Ulla Brehm told TT.

"A tally will be made on Wednesday."

According to Brehm, the police action worked well. Unlike previous encounters with anti-deportation activists, no pepper spray or batons were used.

"On the other hand, a lot of muscle power was used when the demonstrators were carried away," said Brehm.

"I don't have any information that anyone was injured."

The incident is one in a string of actions carried out by activists attempting to stop what they call forced deportations.

Two weeks ago, police used pepper spray and batons when demonstrators tried to stop the deportation of a Roma man to Serbia.

The action resulted in 15 people being suspected of disobeying a police order.

Their trial is scheduled to take place on Wednesday afternoon in Gothenburg District Court and is expected to be preceded by a demonstration in Brunnsparken as well as outside the courthouse.

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