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Palestinians from Syria ask for refugee status in Thailand

Dozens of Palestinians stranded in Thailand after fleeing war-torn Syria a year ago on Thursday petitioned the United Nations to speed up the process of granting them refugee status.

The Palestinian petitioners, most of them children, gathered outside the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) in Bangkok in a bid to draw attention to their increasingly desperate plight in the kingdom.

"We need recognition as a special case with no homeland to return to," said Tamman Tamim, 37, a spokesman for the Palestinians from Syria.

An estimated 300 Palestinians have fled fighting in Syria for Thailand over the past year, after being granted visas by the Thai embassy in Damascus.

"We were like visitors in Syria," Tamim said. "We didn’t take sides so when the war broke out we decided to run away."

DPA


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