Baghdad not under armed conflict: court

Stockholm’s migration court has ruled authorities are legally entitled to return an asylum seeker to Baghdad, arguing the situation there does not constitue armed conflict.

The court’s ruling in the test case upholds an earlier decision by Sweden’s Migration Board.

Explaining the court’s line, officials said while militias, terrorist groups and criminality were common, there was no organised resistance movement, and as such, there was no legally defined war in the Iraqi capital.

The court said people would have to show they were at risk from specific personal attack in Baghdad to avoid being sent there.

In its ruling the court referred to a recent report by US General Petreus, which states the number of fatalities in Baghdad has fallen in the past six months.

Lawyers for the Iraqi man seeking to overturn the Migration Board’s decision to send him to Baghdad, pointed to United Nations reports on conditions in the Iraqi capital, which concluded that no one should be returned to the city.

The general secretary of the Swedish Red Cross refuted the court’s line that the situation in Baghdad has improved, and called on politicians to change Swedish law on the definition on what constituted armed conflict.

The 51 year-old man is to appeal the ruling to Sweden’s highest migration court.

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