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Monday, July 23, 2007 

We can't turn them away.

Dan Hardie has set up a worthy campaign calling for the countless Iraqis working for the British forces to be given indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom, considering the campaigns of murderous violence now being waged against anyone thought to have collaborated with the occupation. While those in the south are at less risk than those living in the far more violent north, we have a duty to offer every one one of these brave people and their families refuge. For the Home Office, ever watchful of the figures for both those seeking asylum and that have come here to work to wash their hands of these individuals is just the latest disgrace to come out of the last 4 years of shame. Dan's advice on what to do is thus:

If you feel that this is unacceptable and that Britain should prevent Iraqis from being murdered for the ‘crime’ of working for British troops, could you please write to your MP and ask him or her to press the Government for action. You can use the excellent website ‘Write to Them’ ( http://www.writetothem.com/ ) or post a letter yourself.

Please be courteous when writing to your MP. It would be a good idea to read the reports above, and cite relevant facts. We would suggest that your letter could contain the following points:

If you really do find letter writing daunting, I’d suggest you copy and paste the letter below and adapt it somewhat. But you are strongly advised that the best thing to do is to compose your own letter:

Dear (MP’s name)

As your constituent, I am writing to discover your views on the treatment of Iraqi citizens who are working or have worked for the British Army, for the contractors supporting it, and for the Coalition Provisional Authority in the South of Iraq. In particular, I would like to know if you support the right of these people to indefinite asylum in the United Kingdom. I strongly suggest that they do indeed have this right. They have, by definition, put their lives at risk by the support they have given to British soldiers who were sent to war by a vote of the House of Commons.

Whether you- or I- supported or opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq is immaterial. The risk run by Iraqis working for British troops is even greater than that run by the soldiers themselves. British soldiers are now suffering very high casualties in Iraq, and are continuing to serve bravely- but their local staff are obliged to live among neighbours who will, in many cases, be sympathetic to or even belong to the armed groups fighting the British army. We owe these people a clear moral debt. We cannot allow them to be murdered for the ‘crime’ of helping our service men and women.

The most effective way of helping these brave Iraqis is to offer them indefinite right to remain in the United Kingdom. There is plentiful evidence that armed groups in Iraq make a practice of murdering not only their ‘enemies’ but their families too: and for this reason we must extend the right of asylum to the families of those who have worked with us. This policy should be enacted immediately whether our forces stay in Iraq or are soon withdrawn. Applications for asylum cannot be ‘processed’ in a lengthy fashion: the situation in Basra is deteriorating, the ability of British soldiers to protect those that work for them is seriously compromised and any delay is likely to lead to the murder of Iraqis who have worked for the British military. I would appreciate your views on this matter.Yours sincerely

Update: Davide has set up a petition on the Downing Street website that you can also sign.

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I've set up a petition on the Downing Street website which has just been approved. You can access it from here.
please sign it and, if possible, link to it.


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