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  • » 02/05/2013, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    Syrian and Coptic Christians fleeing to Moscow, but Russia lacks shelters

    Nina Achmatova

    Human rights activists denounce inadequate facilities for the reception of immigrants and the bureaucratic obstacles. A Coptic tells AsiaNews of death threats of the Muslim Brotherhood for failing to convert to Islam.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - A flow of refugees from Syria and Egypt is pouring into Moscow to escape from wars and violence in their country of origin bringing to light the inadequacy of facilities for the reception of immigrants in Russia. The complaint has been made by a veteran in migrant assistance, the president of the 'Civic Assistance Committee', Svetlana Gannushkina. In the past week a family of 10 Coptic Christians, including a child a few months old, presented themselves in their office.  The family say they fled religious persecution from Islamist groups taking place in f Marsa Matrouh, near the border with Libya. "They threatened us with death if we didn't convert and make our women and girls wear a veil," Reda, 26, who fled with his 19 year old pregnant wife told AsiaNews. "After the revolution many activists of the Muslim Brotherhood came - added his brother Viktor, 30, - who put pressure on us Christians to convert. Our problems started already in late 2011, but are getting worse 'Last year, after an argument with the principal of the school who wanted to force my daughter to wear the hijab, we were told that the presence of Christians in the city was no longer welcome. " "We sought shelter with a local priest - he concluded - but his church had already been burned once and so he did not want to further expose himself to attack."

    Now all 10 Egyptians, plus Iraqis and Sudanese, are forced to live in a room of 20 square meters, with only a few chairs and a table, because there is no temporary accommodation center for immigrants waiting to receive refugee status in the city.

    "Everyone is waiting for an answer from the Federal Service for immigration - Gannushkina , who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times told AsiaNews, - which must decide on their possible transfer to Ochyor, in Perm region, where there is one of only three reception centres for refugees in the entire country. "

    The process, however, can last for weeks and the authorities have not thought of any temporary accommodation for these people, who do not have a place to live. "The problem is much worse for the Copts - said Gannushkina - because for them here, unlike Syrians, there is no large community or network of countrymen ready to open their homes." "It is winter, and in these conditions they are likely to die of exposure - she added - so we are forced to accommodate these people in our offices, but they are not adequate facilities." The small child Cirillus, who arrived with his mother, father and sister also from Marsa Matrouh, is already sick and was visited by doctors from Doctors Without Borders.

    Last year 700 people turned for help to 'Civi Assistence', including 80 Egyptian Copts. The new arrivals are in addition to about 30 Syrians who in January of this year already made a request to Moscow for refugee status. One hundred Syrians arrived in the last six months of 2012.

    Reception centers for refugees fleeing persecution and war are provided in all countries that have signed the UN Convention on Refugees. In Russia - denounced the Gannushkina - formally, there are three centers, but in fact only one works, that of Ochyor for more than 80 people. "This integration does not exist and the sanitary conditions are very bad," she added. According to rumors circulating in the press and among NGOs, the Immigration Service is considering even closing it down. The other two centers are located one in the Tver Region and the other in the south of Rostov, but are not working at full capacity. "In a country as large as Russia three centers for immigrants is virtually nothing, if you think that Poland, which much smaller than us, has 11," added Gannushkina, who has always declared that if she ever wins the Nobel she will allocate the prize money to building at least another refugee centre near Moscow.

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    See also

    18/11/2016 12:10:00 KUWAIT - EGYPT
    The Coptic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac in Kuwait: Egyptian Catholics welcome here

    The Egyptian Church leader was welcomed by the apostolic vicar and numerous faithful. Today he baptized and confirmed children in the cathedral of Kuwait-City. Spokesman for the Coptic Church: "The Egyptian Catholics abroad know little about their mother church, this is why the patriarch wants to be close to them." The Catholic Church in Kuwait has about 200 thousand faithful, mostly migrants from Asian and Arab countries.

     



    15/02/2013 EGYPT
    Activist: Increased discrimination and persecution of Christian Copts
    More than two years after the Maspero massacre, the families of the 27 victims still seeking justice. The courts sentence Copts rather than prosecute military officials. For Mina Magdy, spokesman for the Maspero Youth Union, all Egyptians are victims of the justice system in the hands of the army and Islamist establishment.

    27/01/2012 EGYPT
    Nag Hammadi: Muslim bandits kill two Copts. Christians live in fear of being kidnapped
    Father and son were shot dead in front of their house because they refused to submit to extortion. Bishop Kyrollos: "I believe that the police, and Muslims, are fully responsible for the situation of terror in which Bahgourah Copts live."

    04/10/2012 EGYPT
    Upper Egypt: two Coptic children arrested for blasphemy
    The Imam of Beni Suef (Upper Egypt) accused Rzik Nabil Nagy, age 10 and Mina Farag Nady, of 9, of urinating on the Koran. They are being held in juvenile detention centre in the region. The two children found by man while playing near a dump. Both are illiterate.

    29/01/2014 EGYPT
    Cairo, Coptic Orthodox church attacked. One dead.
    A group of Islamists attacked the church of the Virgin Mary: a police officer shot down in the battle. One of the assailants was apprehended by residents, the second was arrested by the police later that evening.



    Editor's choices

    MIDDLE EAST – UNITED STATES
    Mideast Christians against Trump over Jerusalem capital, a decision that destroys hope for peace



    The Chaldean patriarchate criticises a choice that complicates the situation and fuels conflicts and wars. Card al-Rahi calls the decision “destructive” and a violation of international resolutions. Coptic pope Tawadros II cancels a meeting with US Vice President Pence. Somewhat resigned, Palestinians continue their protest. For Israeli peace group, the US has abdicated its role of mediator in the region.


    CHINA
    Xi Jinping’s false promises and the expulsion of the “low-end population” from Beijing

    Willy Wo-Lap Lam

    Tens of thousands of migrants and their families have been expelled and sent away from the capital. Yet, at the recent Party Congress, President Xi had promised to provide support and help against poverty. There is no reward nor legal or charity for displaced persons. The country’s "social Darwinism" condemns the rural people to marginalisation and allows urban classes to enjoy privileges and advantages. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


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