Iraqi authorities have stepped up tight measures against Palestinian refugees in Iraq likely to push them out of the country, Palestinian rights activists told Quds Press yesterday.
The activists, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the Iraqi authorities have arrested or kidnapped between 35 Palestinian refugees on "terror charges" in order not to leave room for anyone to mediate their release.
According to Quds Press, the source noted a number of legal measures taken against Palestinian refugees including cuts to pensions.
"This plan is likely an introduction to depriving the Palestinian refugee worker from his right to a pension," the activist said.
He also noted that if a Palestinian refugee travels for a period of more than three months, he must apply for a visa to return.
"These measures came amidst deportation of tens of Palestinian families to Western countries, including the UK," the activists said, noting that about 50 Palestinian refugee families have arrived in the UK so far.
The activists said that the situation is complicated as there is no party to defend them, even the Palestinian Authority and the PLO.
Approximately 34,000 Palestinian refugees lived in Iraq, mainly in the capital Baghdad. Since the 2003 American invasion, Palestinian refugees have been subjected to violence and subjugation.
There is no precise numbers for the Palestinian refugees currently in the country, but some sources said that they are roughly 3,000 scattered across Baghdad.