The Kurdish household of six fled Syria to flee the violence of the civil struggle
They’re caught within the Moscow airport as a result of they can not enter Russia legally and are afraid to go dwelling
A Kurdish household that fled the Syrian civil struggle has landed in a bureaucratic purgatory: the Moscow airport.
Hassan Abdo Ahmed Mohammed, his spouse and 4 kids need to settle in Russia, however the authorities says their visas are faux. Returning house is out of the query due to the hazards there.
So the household arrange camp inside Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and wait whereas their lawyer tries to untangle the crimson tape.
Their dwelling for the final 50 days: A barren nook of the airport terminal overlooking the tarmac. Air mattresses are unfold on the ground for napping. Suitcases have been pushed in opposition to the partitions. They’ll’t cook dinner, so UNICEF brings them meals. They use airport restrooms.
With no doorways to maintain out passersby, they household stretched a wire to mark their house. A hand-written signal says, “Please don’t contact our factor (sic) becaus (sic) we live right here.”
The state of affairs improved somewhat bit lately. The United Nations and a non-governmental group satisfied Russian authorities to let the household spend nights in a resort positioned contained in the airport terminal, Mohammed instructed CNN.
“After 44 days of sleeping on the bottom of the airport, within the chilly, they determined to place us in a resort,” he mentioned. “The situation of the room will not be nice, they usually put us within the smoking space.”
However they need to spend their days on the the arduous ground of the terminal, listening to each announcement on the blaring public tackle system and enduring the appears of vacationers passing by.
It’s not a very good place for the couple’s kids: three boys, ages 8 to 13, and a 3-year-old daughter.
“We’ve got not seen the solar for 49 days,” Mohammed mentioned to CNN.
Situations had been so dangerous that Mohammed’s spouse grew to become sick and needed to spend two weeks in a hospital, he mentioned.
“We weren’t allowed to see her, even her youngsters,” he mentioned. “She is again now, however she nonetheless doesn’t really feel nicely.”
How one can assist Syrian refugees
The state of affairs seems like a not-so-amusing spinoff of Steven Spielberg’s 2004 film “The Terminal,” a few man from Japanese Europe who turns into caught at JFK Worldwide Airport in New York as a result of a revolution in his dwelling nation rendered his passport invalid.
An identical, real-life state of affairs occurred when Edward Snowden, the Nationwide Safety Company leaker who fled the US, spent greater than a month residing within the Moscow Airport earlier than being granted asylum.
Mohammed and his household are Syrian Kurds who fled a civil struggle that has left 300,000 individuals lifeless and compelled 10 million individuals from their properties.
Whereas 1000’s of refugees from Syria, Iraq and different Mideast nations flowed into Europe, Mohammed and his household headed for Russia. He mentioned they selected that nation as a result of his spouse’s sister and cousin dwell there.
After leaving Syria, they ended up in Ibril, a Kurdish metropolis in north Iraq. They utilized for visas to Russia and flew to Istanbul after which to Moscow. That’s when their ahead progress got here to a halt.
“After we arrived the airport in Moscow, we had been instructed to attend for a safety verify,” Mohammed mentioned. “After few days we had been instructed that our visas are faux.”
Russia wished to deport the household again to Syria. However “if I am going again, the regime will kill me and my household,” Mohammed mentioned.
He requested for permission to return to Istanbul or Ibril, however the Russians refused, he mentioned.
Warfare has pressured half of Syrians from their properties. The place have they gone?
Mohammed thinks Russia’s shut ties with the embattled Syrian authorities are interfering together with his plans to enter Russia.
“Russia has a really sturdy relation with the Syrian regime, they usually don’t need to encourage Syrians to go away the nation,” he mentioned.
Mohammed’s lawyer mentioned the Syrian authorities checked out their passports and mentioned they had been genuine. Russian authorities are actually investigating the the passports, the lawyer mentioned, and may make a decision quickly.
Russian Overseas Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned the nation has taken in 1 million refugees from Ukraine and accepted 8,000 individuals from Syria in September.
In contrast to some European international locations, Russia has not relaxed its immigration legal guidelines for the latest wave of Mideastern immigrants, Zakharova mentioned, and won’t change the legal guidelines for this household. Individuals desirous to enter the nation will need to have correct documentation, she mentioned.
The household has mounted a small-scale media marketing campaign to make their case.
“Hello, my identify is Raynass Mohammed,” the 13-year-old son says on a video. “We’re from Syria. We live in an airport, and that is our life. We would like you to assist us, please. The airport may be very chilly for sleeping and for sitting.”
Mohammed can solely fume – and preserve ready.
“Officers on the airport handled me like a terrorist,” he mentioned. “Do I appear like a terrorist? Is that this how they deal with a father surrounded by his spouse and his 4 youngsters, all determined to dwell a traditional life?”
Which international locations welcome Syrian refugees, which don’t?