News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqEurodeputies denounce Iraqi stance on refugees

Eurodeputies denounce Iraqi stance on refugees

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AFP: European lawmakers deplored Thursday Iraq’s handling of Palestinians and Iranian opposition members living in the conflict-torn country. STRASBOURG, July 12, 2007 (AFP) – European lawmakers deplored Thursday Iraq’s handling of Palestinians and Iranian opposition members living in the conflict-torn country.

In a resolution adopted at their plenary session in Strasbourg, members of the European Parliament condemned “the call of the Iraqi minister of displacement and migration to expel all Palestinians from Iraq.”

It also denounced “the Iraqi government’s decision to impose onerous registration requirements to Palestinians, making it difficult for them to stay legally in Iraq.”

An estimated 15,000 Palestinians live in Iraq, mostly in Baghdad, down from an original population of 34,000 before the US-led invasion in 2003.

Those who have stayed in the capital have often become targets of kidnappings, torture and arbitrary arrest by armed militias.

The lawmakers also deplored “that neighbouring states kept their borders closed, with rare and limited exceptions, to Palestinians fleeing violence and threats against them in Iraq.”

The assembly noted that some 4,000 Iranian opposition members are long-term political refugees in Iraq and “strongly rejects the threats of expulsion and cutting off supplies of fuel and drinking water made by some senior officials”.

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