Moments of resistance
Latest Update from Farshad Hoseini, Executive Director of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees
Today was a very important day in the life of Zahra Kamalfar and her children who have been languishing in Moscow’s airport for some time now. It was like a hidden war between a mother and her two innocent children on the one hand and the officers and security guards of the airport on the other.
I contacted Zahra every hour. She is disappointed, disturbed and afraid. She asks herself, can anybody really save my life? She tells me she suspects that the authorities are going to do something today; she is under constant surveillance.
I am on the phone with every organisation and personality I can think of – from Geneva, Moscow, to London to demand that they help and intervene.
I will write all I can about her case. I will publish all my conversations with her and all the responses I have received thus far to show the world how humanity has been forgotten.
I have been with Zahra via telephone. She tells me they have picked up their belongings and are ordering her and her children to follow them. She begins resisting. Via telephone I can clearly hear her anger. They try to remove her mobile phone. For a few seconds, I could only hear the voices of the Russian police and Zahra demanding that they return her phone. She says: ‘You have no right to keep my telephone’. I can hear her children crying. I am disconnected.
After 30 minutes I manage to contact Zahra again. It was very near to the time she was to be forcibly placed on an Aeroflot flight to Iran. I find out that that Zahra and her children are surrounded by police and airport guards. My next contact with her is after 15 minutes. Anna, her daughter has drunk shampoo to protest their deportation. I could only hear crying, groaning, and the voices of emergency aid workers. The Aeroflot flight has left without Zahra and her children.
So with this resistance, we have another day to stop their deportation to Iran. Another day to secure their legitimate right to asylum. Tomorrow (Wednesday 22 November) is another important day in the struggle to save Zahra and her children. We have to win.
Don’t wait for a tragic end to this story. We must do some thing to end this drama in their favour.