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Home NATIONALRefugee wins in court against Migri´s decision
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Fri, 25 Nov, 2016 10:32:18 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, Nov 25

Chances for Iraqi asylum seekers to stay in Finland improved this week following a court decision dismissing a rejection by the migration authority, media reported on Thursday.

A sunni muslim from Mosul, northern Iraq, recently complained to the Administrative Court about the negative decision made by the Finnish Migration Authority (Migri) on him. The authority had deemed that the applicant could move inside Iraq from Mosul to Baghdad, and thus would not need asylum in Finland.

Esko Repo, head of the asylum unit of the Migri, told national broadcaster Yle on Thursday that the court decision means that the authority no longer regards internal escape in Iraq as "a reasonable alternative" for comparable future applicants and will probably grant them asylum instead.

Repo could not estimate how large a percentage of applications will be affected by the change of policy.

Another Migri official told the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that there could be hundreds of cases affected.

Asylum seekers in Finland who get a negative decision can complain to courts and get legal assistance in the lawsuit.

In the Finnish system, decisions dismissed by the Administrative Court will not automatically convert to positive status, but the application needs to return to Migri for reprocessing. Usually Migri will follow the guidance of the court.

This autumn, two percent of the complaints to a court resulted in the court dismissing a Migri decision as Migri had been deemed to have misinterpreted the law or had done a procedural error.

Repo pointed out that a person from Mosul can still get a negative decision in Finland in the future.

Currently 8,000 applications are in line awaiting decisions by Migri.

Finland made regulations stricter for Iraqi applicants this year. While last year 80 percent of Iraqi applicants could stay in Finland, this year 80 percent of applications have been rejected.

The latest sign of policy change will be good news to people who have escaped from the areas captured by the Islamic State.  

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