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Second Group of Iraqi Refugees Arrives in Brazil

Iraqi refugees The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that the second group of Iraqi Palestinians who were forced to flee their homes in Iraq after the US military invasion of that country and were living in the Ruwayshed camp in Jordanian desert have left for resettlement in Brazil.

Almost 40 Palestinian Iraqis, who have been living in harsh conditions for more than four years, left behind 37 others who will join them in South America later this month.

All 108 Palestinian inhabitants of Ruwayshed camp will move to SΓ£o Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul regions, where they will receive accommodation, furniture, material and employment assistance, as well as Portuguese language classes.

"UNHCR is very appreciative of Brazil's offer for humanitarian resettlement," Mr. Redmond said.

Meanwhile, UNHCR continues to appeal for urgent solutions for over 1,750 Palestinians who are still stranded in Al Waleed and Al Tanf border camps and are living in dire conditions.

Responding to Syria's strict adherence to new visa restrictions for Iraqis wishing to enter the country, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged the creation of a "humanitarian" visa for Iraqis fleeing violence in their homeland.

Since visa restrictions were imposed on Monday, only Iraqis with visas for commercial, transport, scientific and education purposes have been successful in crossing the border to Syria, UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva.

To apply for these visas, Iraqis must apply at the Syrian Embassy in the Al Mansour district of Baghdad. "Refugees have highlighted their concern that Al Mansour district is the scene of frequent violence, and not an area that large groups of people should gather," Mr. Redmond said.

In many instances, a Syrian sponsoring organization, such as the Syrian Chamber of Commerce, is necessary to procure a visa to enter the country.

Syria has stated that the visa restrictions are a result of the massive pressure placed on the country as it hosts over 1.4 million Iraqi refugees.

"UNHCR continues to appeal for increased bilateral support to Syria so it can continue to support the Iraqi refugees living in the country – and hopefully offer refuge for those Iraqis that need to flee Iraq in the future," Mr. Redmond said.

Since the new restrictions took effect, the number of phone calls to UNHCR in Damascus has doubled, with the agency having counseled either in person or over the phone hundreds of Iraqi refugees living in Syria regarding concerns over their residency status.

"From discussions with Government officials, UNHCR understands that Iraqi refugees currently living in Syria will not be forcibly returned to Iraq," Mr. Redmond noted.

But Iraqi refugees are worried about their status after their visas expire. In the past, the documents could be renewed at the Syrian border for three months, and UNHCR said it hopes that Syria can establish such offices within the country for refugees to renew their visas.

According to US officials, starting this month the United States will get a thousand Iraqi refugees a month, for a total of 70,000 refugees in a six-year period.

UN data show that more than 4 million Iraqis had to leave their homes due to the violence following the 2003 American invasion of their country. While 2 million moved to other areas inside Iraq, another 2.2 million fled to other countries, most of them going to Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon.

The US government informed that from 4,300 head of household men interviewed from a list of 10,000 given by the United Nations, 753 were refused asylum due to criminal records, false documents or other security problem.

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  • Show Comments (9)

  • european

    I really hope that the iraqi refugee are not muslims
    The christian minority in Iraq have suffered ethnic cleansing persecution, and the US invasion has worsened their problems. I think Brazil should help them. But not if they are muslims. Muslim immigration has caused a lot of troubles in European countries and Australia. Why should they behave better in Brazil? I don’t think they will. In the long term, both Europe and Australia will crack down when the muslim communities in those countries become strong enough. Are there any good reasons for Brazil do the same mistakes as Europe and Australia?

  • Shelly

    Jony
    I am going to build a blog on Oceanography, I am going to the Bahamas next May for 2 weeks to do a coastal processing research and a coral reef ecology study. I will do dives and should have a camera to photograph us on the boat having a good time. I will post it and let everyone meet me in “person”. Then it will be no doubt about the Gostosa issue?

  • Shelly

    Yes dear
    The Gostosa thing is true. I am very proud of who I am and comfortable in my own skin, my gringo went crazy when he met me. Can you imagine meeting this DEUSA, tall, Blond hair down waist, small but nice bikini, playing soccer on the beach and doing it well? I used to play football on the beach, post 9 in Ipanema there are people that know me and they still play football on the same days. Go and ask for Michelle they will know who I am. I lived two blocks from the beach in Ipanema.Every Tuesday, we used to get a bunch of girls and guys to play together, this is how I met a lot of foreigners and most of them were Brits, Canadians, Americans-nice guys, they learn quick. Nice way of meeting safe people that are not there to screw you for your $$$. The girls were all from good families and had a good lifestyle. Then when I moved to England, I continue to play football for the womens team at the University of Sussex. As soon as I have time again, I am going to get super fit. Fitness and wellbeing are important in my life.

  • jony

    wow shelly, You have my attention!! πŸ˜‰
    I totally agree with you! The US should, by law, accept all these refugees under the Geneva Convention. Now let’s talk about something important like “YOU” and this gostosa thing!!!!!! πŸ™‚

    For your information, CH.C doesnÀ’€ℒt like women, much less an intelligent and outspoken (gostosa) Brazilian women like you. You become a liability to his feminine side! πŸ™‚

    Cheers

  • Shelly

    and your point???
    And what about the millions of Brazilians…..who legally and illegally……left the country ?

    I don’t give a rats ass about the illegal immigration. I am here legally and have lived in Europe legally. My point was clear, do I need to help you understand it? America Britain should take all of Iraqis, not us. The US and the UK fucks up and we have to clean up their mess?

    As you mentioned, where will this people work and who will support them?

  • Shelly

    CH.c
    You are the typical Brazilian that leaves the country and denies its origin. I am a typical Brazilian, Blond, blue eyes, 5.6ft. and proudly GOSTOSA!

  • ch.c.

    ooPS…..CORRECTING….
    And what about the millions of Brazilians……who legally and illegally…. are in other countries…….mostly in developed countries ?????

    Ohhh and what jobs will you offer to these refugees ? Sugarcane cutters or a job in the charcoal industry ?
    These are 2 booming industries ……in your country. :-*

  • ch.c.

    To Shelly !
    And what about the millions of Brazilians…..who legally and illegally……left the country ?

    Funny that my very very small country, Switzerland, population 7,5 millions, has accepted over the years far far far far far more political refugees than Brazil, population 185 millions !

    And you are accepting 108 refugees, when the USA will accept 1000……PER MONTH…FOR THE NEXT 6 YEARS !!!!!

    Shelly ChΓ€Ζ’Β©rie….you are a typical Brazilian !

    πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

  • Shelly

    Refugees
    I am happy to know that Brazil is helping others in need, but what about OUR OWN CITIZENS? Are they going to help the thousands of POOR in this desperate country? I think the refugees would be better off elsewhere. Also, why should we get involved in this? This should be taken care of by the British and the Americans. They F up the country, therefore Americans should take the blunt and be grown up about this and take ALL refugees from Iraq. America Britain, you destroyed Iraq, now pay the consequences.

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