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Jail for Iraqi asylum seekers

PUBLISHED: 21:23 14 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK asylum seekers who could not apply for benefits will now receive accommodation and food in prison.

Six Iraqis applied for asylum in Dover in 2000 and all but one of them had their applications refused and their appeals rejected.

SUFFOLK asylum seekers who could not apply for benefits will now receive accommodation and food in prison.

Six Iraqis applied for asylum in Dover in 2000 and all but one of them had their applications refused and their appeals rejected.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that they were then "effectively left in limbo" stateless and homeless" and due to the Iraq situation unable to be sent home.

Barrister Rosalyn Mandil-Wade said it was in this desperate state that they committed the offence of re-applying for asylum under false names at Felixstowe immigration.

All six pleaded guilty to trying to remain in the UK by claiming false asylum on February 1.

Saman Karim, 21, Sagvan Nagmadeen, 30, Dilan Hussain, 18, Aziz Mohammed, 24, Hozan Ibrahim 34 and Abdullah Sherzad, 27 have been in custody since February.

Mrs Mandil-Wade said: "The British tax payer was not prepared to feed them when they were stateless and homeless but now they will pay for them because of the inevitable custodial sentence."

Kate Stephenson prosecuting said Karim told police: "he would do it again and do it again a hundred times because it was our duty to look after him".

She added that Ibrahim had applied for asylum in a false name before his initial application had even been refused.

The court heard about the "torture and persecution" the men suffered in Northern Iraq and that they had had no communication with their friends and family since the war in Iraq began.

Judge John Holt heard that all the men were of previous good character but that similar offending was on the increase especially in Felixstowe with 11 per cent of applications being false.

All six defendants were jailed for 12 months.


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