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Persecution
The Journey:
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The Journey: Clickable guide: Refugee journeys
Intro | 1. Palestine/Israel | 2. Afghanistan | 3. Bosnia
4. Iraq | 5. Somalia | 6. Sierra Leone | 7. China | 8. Sri Lanka
Refugees from Iraq: 639,300
510,000 in Iran
34,500 in Germany
24,000 in Sweden
22,900 in Netherlands
10,500 in Denmark
5,700 in UK
Source: UNHCR 2000

Each year thousands of Iraqis flee persecution under Saddam Hussein's regime, mainly Kurdish people from the north of the country and minority Shi'a Muslims from the south. The exodus was at a peak at the end of the Gulf War in 1991, when hundreds of thousands of mainly Kurdish people fled into Turkey and Iran following military action in the north of the country. Subsequently, the US, UK and France set up safe havens on the ground in northern Iraq, to which the refugees returned. But many people still live in fear, and take on risky journeys to reach the West. The Kurds do not have their own nation, and are one of the world's largest ethnic groups without independence.
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