ASIA/IRAQ - Czech government: Christian Refugee Program Halted

Saturday, 9 April 2016 refugees

Prague (Agenzia Fides) - The Czech government has cancelled its "selected" program reserved for Christian Iraqi refugees forced to leave their homes in the Nineveh Plain fallen under the contol of the jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh). The government's measure, made official on Thursday, April 7, was taken after 25 new arrivals rejected life in the Czech Republic and rented a bus without permission to take them to Germany, where they applied for asylum claiming to want to reunite with relatives already living in German cities. The unauthorized initiative was harshly criticized by Czech interior minister, who via twitter reported that he had asked the police "to use all legal means so that these people, who abused the good will of the Czech Republic and her citizens, are returned to Iraq".
The resettlement program for 153 Iraqi Christians was organized by the NGO Generace 21, and presented as an orderly and "safe" model in European Countries of refugees coming from areas of crisis in Africa and the Middle East. The refugees involved in the program had been selected among the Christian refugees who fled from Iraq to Lebanon. Since the beginning of the year, 89 of them had already arrived in small groups in the Czech Republic.
This program, aimed specifically at Christians refugees, represented a test implicitly attuned to the school of thought - especially active in some Eastern European countries - who consider Christian refugees as more "suitable" to be welcomed in Europe, compared to their Muslim compatriots. But out of the 89 Christians who arrived in the Czech Republic, in past days already 8 have applied to return to Iraq, claiming to feel nostalgia for their homeland and feel uncomfortable in a cultural context perceived as foreign.
The Czech government is among those that is opposed to the proposed relocation of refugees among European countries in accordance with the quota system. Surveys show that more than 60 percent of Czechs are opposed to accommodating refugees fleeing from war zones. (GV Agenzia Fides 09/04/2015)

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