Imagine yourself as a normal guy selling cigarettes and soda in a kiosk. I had one like that, by the entrance to the city. I had a shop in my neighbourhood, and every neighbourhood have only few exits. My shop was close to one of these entry points. I could speak some English, so the Americans would come to talk to me and bought some cigarettes, or something else. Sometimes they would play with my small daughter.

One day, two cars came by and the people in the cars started to talk to me. They said to me, that I am spy. It was because of me that the Americans had come and take our people, that they had took their sons because of me. They told me, that if I will not get them back in three days, they will come back and kill me and take revenge on me. They tried to put me in their car and then they broke my arm. They tried to kidnap me but some of the neighbours run to help with guns, they shot in the air and the Americans came, so the kidnappers escaped.

I went to hospital and tried to get treatment for my arm. Then I went to police station. The police told me that they can’t help me, because this is an issue between two families, and they cannot give me a protection. I could stay at the police station, if I wanted. Then I heard that Americans had taken seven or eight men from this family, living in my neighbourhood. I knew, that even if I would stay in the police station, they might pay to the police to give me to them. They are a powerful family — a terrorist group, and they said that I was a spy to American military.

Then, they attacked my home. In that night me and my whole family escaped. It was 2005. We escaped to Syria. Life was very difficult. There my family made a paper, which declared that they would not make revenge, if something would happen to me. After that, my parents left back to they Iraq. While I was in Syria, one of the cousins of this family killed my uncle, because he looked like me.

And in 2012 I went back, also, with my wife and two daughters, because the situation in Syria had gotten worse, and I thought that after seven years, this problem would have been gone, already. But when I went to my parents home, they were asking why did I came back. Next day I went to my friend’s restaurant in the neighbourhood. I was sitting at the restaurant, when I saw someone came to me, and he was going crazy. He started to beat me with his stick, calling me a criminal and a spy. He was beating me in the same hand that had got broken earlier. I asked from my friend who is this guy. It was the cousin of these guys, one of the seven, who got arrested by Americans. I find out, that one of them was executed by the Iraqi government, because they were claimed to be criminals.

In that day they attacked my parents home shooting walls and the door. I escaped to my wife’s parents home, but I felt I could not live in Iraq anymore. I managed to get some money from my wife’s family, but it was not a lot of money, so I could not travel with my family. I had to escape. This was the first time that I had to leave my wife and daughters. I was so sad I couldn’t sleep. In the night I did not wake my daughters, but I just kissed them. I was crying with my wife.

The brother of my wife knew people that would help me to leave. At first I went to Kurdistan in Iraq. I spent few days in the smugglers place. Then a car went to Turkey. More people came to the car from Syria, people from Iraq. From the car we could not see outside and we were not seen. We drove in the night, sometimes in the day. I did not know in which country we were. There were families in the car. We were all sitting and praying. There was grief and sadness in all the faces. Sometimes we changed the car and we needed to walk, and once we were walking over the borders for one hour, which was hard, because I cannot walk properly.

I arrived to Sweden on the October 20, 2012, but at first I did not know was in Sweden or not. I was in Malmö. I called my friend in Göteborg. A man from Iraq helped me to book a ticket to train to Göteborg, because we don’t have this kind of trains in Iraq. I took a train to my friend in Göteborg. My friend gave me food, I stayed there one night, and then I went to Police. I was two years in Sweden. First I waited seven months, before I got a response for my asylum seeking application. For some people the process was only three months after the interview. Then I got a negative response, because they told me that the situation in Iraq was getting better and that I could live some place else than in Baghdad. But if you want to live in any place in Iraq, you have to register, and after that anyone can pay some money, get my information and find out were I am. I felt this was unfair and my lawyer told me to appeal. Appeal would take three months. After I had waited for four months he called the police and they told me it would take six months. After the six months I called my lawyer and he asked them to speed up the process. After I had waited for eight months, they told me that because they had to start working the processes of the under aged children refugees, I had to wait. Then, I had waited almost two years, and my case was on the table. They told me a decision would come in two weeks. After one month I called and then they told me that it would take another two weeks. Finally they told me, that the court would be on the December 10, 2014.

I was so sad and I was just sitting home. I was scared of what would happen to me or my family. I was afraid to put my children to school, if that group would take revenge on them, so they were studying at home. On the December 4, my friend called me. He told me that he was going on a trip to Finland. It would be a nice trip on a ferry, and we would spend only 6 hours in Finland. After the trip I could come to visit his place, away from the place I was living in the forest and countryside. On the December 5 we travelled from Göteborg to Stockholm and on the December 6 in 2014, we arrived to Finland. There were six people of us in that car. We walked out but my friend drove the car. It was crowded in the harbour. There were two of those other guys with me. The police asked their papers and they said they had come to ask for an asylum. I did not care about this, because it was not my business. We were able to enter, and we drove to Turku, to my friend’s brother to have a lunch. Then we drove back to Helsinki.

We started to go back to Sweden on the ferry. After few hours, the guards came to us. I was sitting in the disco watching some show. The guards arrested us. They interrogated us and told us that we were smuggling illegal immigrants. The ferry stopped on the island, where they took us on the other ferry to Turku. They put us in a prison for three days, and there I thought I was going to go crazy. I told the police that I have a important court case. The six guys in the car said they did not know me, and that I did not took any money, also. My friend told me that I did not have anything to do with this thing. But the police did not believe me. They told me that was his partner in smuggling. After the court, the investigator told me that I had to be careful. I said I had not done anything wrong. But he told me that you were in the car so you are his partner. Then they told me that there must be a third person. They made a map, and linked us to a person they did not know, and we did not know, also. So, when there was three of us, they could make us an organization. My friend told them that I was just a friend.

They give me a sentence of one year and six months. Three days before finishing my sentence they told me to pack my things, but I did not tell where we were going. They took me to Pasila station where they took my fingerprints. Then they told me that now they were going to connect with the Swedish immigration and I asked them, why did they do that before giving my sentence. They said that they did not want to hurry. After Pasila they took me to Metsälä, where I spend 26. I have applied for a asylum seeker, I have made my interviews and I have been waiting for four months for my decision.