Syrian refugees in Palau seeking temporary asylum
By: L.N. Reklai
A small family, a mother age 43 and her three sons, who are all under 18 years of age from Syria in Middle East as set to be deported back on Wednesday to Malaysia where their flight to Palau originated. [restrict]
The family arrived in Palau on December 14 with plans to leave by February 15 to either Australia or New Zealand, countries they’ve applied for refugee status. With their uncle who is a resident and businessman in New Zealand, the family had been able to escape and make their way toward Pacific.
According to their letter to Mr. Sylverius Tellei, Acting Director of Immigration and Justice, they have been in Malaysia for 6 months waiting for response from the UN Commission on Refugees based in Canberra where they’ve submitted application for refugee status. They had left Malaysia as they’ve exhausted their legal period to stay in Malaysia.
They requested to pay the required fees and extend permits to stay for another 30 days but they were told that they must leave on Wednesday.
The family is in dire strait as they are no longer allowed to return to Malaysia and have nowhere to go. According to their letter, they have means to pay for their stay here until they hear from the UN Commission.
The family which had fled conflict in Syria, are of a Druze religion, who are persecuted and killed in Syria. Druze religion does not permit converts or accepts converts and as of 21st century has estimated 1 million followers, 500,000 estimated to live in Syria. [/restrict]