An undated photo of the refugee family in Denmark

An undated photo of the refugee family in Denmark

Iran Protests Denmark's Use Of Force To Deport An Asylum-Seeker


Iran's envoy to Copenhagen has "strongly protested" to the use of violence against an Iranian political asylum-seeker in Denmark, who was forcibly deported.

In a Friday meeting with officials of Denmark's foreign ministry and ministry of immigration and integration, Afsaneh Nadipour conveyed Tehran's strong protest and called on the Danish authorities to apologize for the "inhumane behavior" against the Iranian asylum-seeker, punishment of the perpetrators of violence, and ensuring that similar incidents would not happen in the future.

"The Iranian ambassador's protest to Denmark is ridiculous," the family's translator in Denmark, Reza Asoudeh, told Iran International TV on Saturday, adding that in his view it is the government of the Islamic Republic that must apologize for making it impossible for this family to live in their own country and driving them to seek political asylum elsewhere.

Danish immigration authorities on Tuesday tried to deport Ghadamkheir Haghanizadeh, 37, and her two ten-year-old sons, Yousef and Younes back to Iran. Danish authorities rejected the political asylum application of Ghadamkheir and her two sons in 2017.

In the early hours of Monday, four Danish deportation agents dragged Ghadamkheir, a refugee from Iran's western province of Kermanshah, out of one of Denmark's refugee camps where she had been living for six years.

Image from a video showing immigration agents subduing the Iranian refugee.

A video recorded by a resident of the camp where Ghadamkheir and her family lived appeared on social media that suggests Danish deportation agents used unnecessary violence against her. She was then shipped off to the airport with her two sons to be sent back to Iran through Istanbul, Turkey.

When in Istanbul, Ghadamkheir resisted boarding a flight to Iran and according to Kurdistan Human Rights Network injured herself in what could have been suicide attempt. She was returned to Denmark a few hours later where she is receiving medical treatment at a hospital now.

The family of five have sought refuge in Denmark since mid-2010s but her asylum request was rejected while the husband and a younger child are still living in Denmark.

After forcibly separating Ghadamkheir and her two older sons from her husband, Sirus, and their younger child, Danish authorities contacted her husband, and gave him two options: to either accept repatriation money and return to Iran, or to never see his wife and children again, Rudaw, a news agency in Iraqi Kurdistan claimed Friday.

According to Rudaw, Sirus who is currently held at a location close to the camp where they lived with the couple's infant son and the two older boys after their return from Istanbul.

Rudaw said Sirus entered Denmark illegally after travelling through several countries in 2015 to seek political asylum, while his wife and two sons entered the country legally and then requested asylum. Since she did not break Iranian law by travelling without a passport, she can return, Danish authorities say.

The couple's one-year-old baby was born in Denmark which explains why he was not deported with the mother.

The Iranian intelligence ministry arrested Sirus, a blacksmith in Kermanshah province, in 2014 on suspicion of having ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and his father had been hanged in 1984 for the same reason, while Ghadamkheir's father, an active member of the party, was shot dead by security forces in 1985.

“Due to the fact that our fathers were members of the party, they would blame us whenever something happened in the area,” Sirus told Rudaw. The family belongs to the Yarsani religious minority whose followers are discriminated against in Islamic Iran.

News at a Glance
IITV News (24) - DC
News at a Glance

Share your story

Send your Videos and Photos to us