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UAE deports 50 Syrian families on charges of links to Qatar

Syrian opposition members and their families gather to get into buses during an evacuation from the al-Waer neighbourhood, in the western outskirts of the central city of Homs, Syria on March 18, 2017. [Stringer / Anadolu Agency]
Syrian opposition members and their families gather to get into buses during an evacuation from the al-Waer neighbourhood, in Syria on 18 March 12017 [Stringer / Anadolu Agency]

The Emirati government deported dozens of Syrian families legally residing in the country a few days ago. The deportation orders were issued against Syrian businessmen and investors without any explanation on the UAE’s part regarding the reasons or motivations behind the hasty removal.

The forced deportations carried out by the Emirati government involved the authorities informing the Syrian families that they are “unwelcome individuals on Emirati soil” and were ordered to leave the country within 24 hours.

A source close to some of the deported families told Alquds Alarabi newspaper, “the Abu Dhabi government decided to deport about 50 Syrian families, within a 24-hour period, a few days ago. The families are originally from the Daraa governorate, in southern Syria.”

The source, who asked to remain unnamed, said that the deportations occurred suddenly, without prior warning. The process involved a security body from Abu Dhabi calling the families to summon them immediately. They were asked to being their personal documents, i.e. their passports and residency permits.

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“The Abu Dhabi government then gave the families one day to leave the UAE without any explanation for why they were being deported. The government merely told them they were unwelcome in the country,” added the source.

The Emirati government did not “cancel” or stamp any of the Syrian families’ passports in order not to leave legal evidence of the forced expulsion of the Syrian families who live in the country legally.

#QatarGate

A member of one of the deported families stated that “the UAE accused us of having ties with Qatar,” noting that the deportation came after implicit accusations of exporting goods to Qatar after the UAW, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt imposed a siege on Qatar.

The Abu Dhabi government accused us of illegally exporting goods to Doha,

he added.

The UAE announced two years ago that it had welcomed over 100,000 Syrians since 2011 and that residency permits had been issued to about 250,000 Syrians.

However, Emirati and Syrian activists believe these numbers are a lie, and have asked what refugee camp these Syrians are staying in, and why hasn’t the official Emirati media mentioned them, despite its keenness to show the country’s relief work?

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