Asylum-seekers arrested following daring escape

Two Iraqi refugees facing deportation to Baghdad made a dramatic escape from an asylum detention centre but were recaptured by police using dogs and a helicopter.

Ahmed Hussein Saeed and Mohammed Abdullah, both failed asylum-seekers, fled after scaling a razor-wire perimeter fence at Campsfield House detention centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, on Thursday night.

Mr Abdullah was apprehended almost immediately and it appeared that his escape was not reported to police. Mr Saeed managed to travel to London before he was found and arrested yesterday morning.

Last night, he was in hospital with a suspected broken leg and deep cuts that he sustained scaling the fence. A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: "We can confirm that we received a report at approximately 10.30pm [on Thursday] that a man had escaped from Campsfield detention centre. We understand that the man has now been found."

The two men, both ethnic Kurds, were due to be flown to the Iraqi capital on Monday. The British Government has recently begun flying failed Kurdish asylum-seekers to Baghdad rather than the semi-autonomous Kurdish area of northern Iraq, because the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) refuses to accept anyone who has been brought under duress.

The UK Border Agency tried to remove Mr Saeed to Kurdistan five months ago but he was immediately sent back to Britain after he confirmed to Kurdish airport officials that he had been repatriated against his will.

Fifteen Iraqi refugees have been flown to Baghdad this month, of which several were Kurds. British officials tried to send their flight on to Kurdistan but were told by the KRG that this was not acceptable.

A spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq told The Independent that British authorities now simply left Kurdish refugees in Baghdad with $100 and a hotel room for the night, and instructed them to make their own way back home to Kurdistan from there.

A UK Border Agency spokesperson said: "The UK Border Agency only ever returns those who both the agency and the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and refuse to leave voluntarily.

"Currently we have agreement with the Government of Iraq to return all Iraqi citizens to Baghdad. We make arrangements for those who require onward travel to their home towns, and this includes those travelling to Kurdistan.

"These arrangements worked well on the recent charter flights to Baghdad and we are confident they will continue to do so."

Mr Saeed has lived in Britain for nine years but has been detained for the past 10 months. A friend claimed he had "done nothing wrong here".

"He is running away from tribal violence. They tried to send him back before but the government over there wouldn't accept him into the country. He is desperate not to go back," added the friend, who asked not to be named.

According to the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR), at least 50 more Iraqis are marked down for removal to Baghdad on Monday. The group is leading a campaign to stop all deportations to Iraq while the security and political situation there remains uncertain.

Dashty Jamal, the secretary of the IFIR, said: "These deportations must be stopped. There is a campaign in Iraq of politicians, writers, journalists and many freedom-loving people [who] condemn this collusion, between the puppet militia running Iraq and the British Government, to send back people who were victims of the violence that continues to devastate the country. We call on people in Britain to do the same."

David Wood, the head of criminality and detention services at the UK Border Agency, said: "A detainee escaped from Campsfield immigration removal centre on Thursday evening. He has now been recaptured and is back in detention."

This article was amended on 6 September to add a comment from the UK Border Agency.

Suggested Topics
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Swimmer also charged with crossing double land lines and excessive speeding
moneyForbes 400 list released
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style