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
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam