UK grants less 5 percent of Iraqi asylum cases


London : Britain granted asylum to less than 5 percent of Iraqi applicants last year, according to new figures on case heard from Immigration Research and Statistics.

Provisional figured showed that out of 730 decisions made on Iraqi applications in 2006, some 640 were refused and only 30 were granted.

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Around 60 were also given discretionary leave to remain in the UK.

The percentage of successful Iraqis was slightly higher as the result of appeals, with 115 allowed out of 755 cases determined. Some 600 appeals were dismissed, while a further 40 cases were with drawn either by the appellant or the Home Office.

In February, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged European Union countries to adopt a more positive policy towards Iraqi refugees amid expectation that the number of Iraqis seeking asylum in Europe could double this year.

Some countries like Sweden and Ireland were said to be granting permission to stay to virtually all Iraqi asylum seekers, while other EU member states did the opposite.

Britain has been seeking to forcefully deport some of the failed Iraqi asylum seekers, but the numbers so far returned have remained low.

Earlier this year, it was estimated that there were around 750,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan, a million in Syria and about 100,000 in Persian Gulf states, including mainly Iran.