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Czech Republic: A group of Christian refugees insists on returning to Iraq


Iraqi Christian refugees

A group of Iraqi Christian refugees in Czech Republic are now demanding to return to Iraq.

About 16 Iraqi Christian refugees, who had fled violence in their own country and reached Czech Republic and now urging the Czech authorities to make arrangements for their return to Iraq. The Czech Interior Minister- Milan Chovanec has confirmed that 16 Iraqi Christians have applied for their return to Iraq. The Czech Interior Ministry will be discussing the covering of the costs for their return with the charity that brought them to the Czech Republic earlier this year, under a resettlement programme.

The group of Iraqi Christian refugees was hooked by the border police on Thursday April 14, as they were trying to move to Germany. The refugees arrested, included children was granted asylum in the Czech Republic, however, later on, they had a change of mind and decided to move to Germany. Followed by their arrest, these refugees applied for asylum in Czech Republic for a second time. The Czech authorities have taken them to a facility in Zastavka u Brna; for the while as their asylum application is under consideration.

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Czech Interior Minister- Milan Chovanec says that he has no idea why these Iraqi Christians want to return to Iraq. “They probably realized that their possibilities to travel to other countries are very limited. Now, they would be waiting in the Czech Republic for whether they will again gain international protection and that is why they decided not to use this and return home.”

He further said that efforts are under way to secure the cheapest air transport to Iraq for them because the Czech government will be bearing all their travel expenses. “I would be very glad if Generation 21 paid it because the state did not cause the problem,” he said.

Jan Talafant- Director of the organisation which had brought these refugees to Czech Republic under a resettlement programme says that he is not aware of the reasons why the Iraqis decided to return home. He expressed his opinion that it would be reasonable if these Iraqi Christians paid for the travel expenses themselves.