News & Views
Deportations of Iranian refugees to Iran is unacceptable
From HAMBASTEGI, No. 78, English Section
Editorial by Maryam Namazie
International Federation of Iranian Refugees
May 25, 1998
In the post-Cold War era, Western governments have lost the ideological incentive to promote asylum. The further globalization of capital has decreased their need for cheap labor at home. Furthermore, the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which was created as a result of the Cold War, has been increasingly relegated to migration control assistance for governments.
As a result, Iranian refugees fleeing the tyrannical Islamic Republic of Iran are facing restrictive measures that blatantly violate refugee rights. Western governments state that most of these refugees "do not fall within the refugee definition." They overtly proclaim that general conditions in Iran are reasonable for Third World standards, though intolerable for Westerners. Their institutionalized racism blames refugees for social problems which actually result from a system that puts profits first and human needs last. They justify their actions by unjustly blaming citizens for their "unwillingness to accept newcomers." Despite the fact that the situation in Iran has worsened, they say that conditions in Iran no longer requires a moratorium on deportations. When expedient, however, they used a moratorium and high approval rates to exert pressure on the regime. Such policies are created for specific political and economic self-interests. False portrayals of a tolerable Iran and a "moderate," smiling mullah opens the way for the only thing thatŐs really free to move in this world - capital. In the meantime, refugees, those "annoying" reminders of the dark realities of an Islamic Iran, are increasingly rejected and forcibly returned to their persecutors.
Governments' categorization of migrants must be renounced to defend the undeniable rights of any human being who says "no" to an abominable regime. Applying for asylum is a political act against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Anyone who proclaims that s/he is unwilling to return to Iran must be granted refuge. There must be a moratorium on deportations. Anything less is inhuman and unacceptable.
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