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Iraqi Christians demand quicker immigration process

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(13 Feb 2017) LEAD IN:
Dozens of Iraqi Christians marched across downtown Beirut to protest outside the United Nations headquarters to demand the speeding up of their resettlement process.

STORY-LINE:
Disenchanted Iraqi refugees on the march in Beirut.
The message to the UN: speed up our immigration documents.
The protesters hold banners reading “the future of our children is wasted” and other slogans outlining the fear they feel regarding their home country.
During the protest outside the UN building, Samer Younan, an Iraqi refugee in Lebanon, laments what he considers the lack of rights for him and his countrymen.
“There are no rights, even the minimum rights for children do not exist, no medical insurance, nothing at all,” he says.
Fellow refugee Reenata has a similar feeling.
“We are demanding that they (UN) look after us and see how Iraqis are living and how they are humiliated,” she says.
Official recent statistics are hard to come by but the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) suggests there may be as many as 120,000 Iraqi refugees in Lebanon.
They include large numbers of Iraqi Christians who believe they will find safety among Lebanon’s Christian communities.
Most have entered Lebanon via Syria.

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