Palestinian refugees protest against UNHCR in New Delhi

     A group of Palestinian refugees staged a sit-in protest on Tuesday in front of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR) office in New Delhi. The refugees, driven away from Iraq, accused the UNHRC of ignoring them and appealed that they should be soon issued visas to the European countries. "The UNHCR neglect us. They don't care about us. About me, I have been waiting here for one year and one month without any progress. I don't have a blue card yet. There are people who are still waiting for embassy interviews. There's no news," says Mohammed Mousa, a Palestinian refugee living in India. Some have been offered the US visa but they have refused to go there, fearing discrimination against them and their religion in that nation. "This office is for help. What about me? I have no sleep. May be very soon I will go crazy because I don't get sleep anymore. I feel my head will burst. My son's future has finished, this is his fourth year and he will leave the college. I'm 52 years old. What this family? No nationality, no job, no money, no future, no home. What?" cried Jamal Ibrahim Ahmed, another refugee. Sabreen Hassan Mahmood, whose all the family members have been living in Sweden for the past some months, lives by herself in New Delhi. "I was in Iraq. I came here a year ago to India. After some months all my family members were sent to Sweden. I'm living here alone in India for the past seven months. No relative, salary is very bad here. Promises are made again and again but of no avail," says Sabreen Hassan Mahmood, a Palestinian refugee living in India. Around100 Palestinian refugees are living in India since 2006-2007, but they are not allowed to engage in economic activities, including taking up a job or starting a business. All of them get a monthly stipend from the UNHCR, which they say, is not sufficient to make ends meet. About 50 refugees are still waiting for an interview at the Canadian embassy, which is willing to accept them. However, this process would also take another year. Palestinians say it's a long wait ahead before they can be settled.

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