France/Iraq/Baghdad church attack
Paris, November 1, 2010
More than 50 people died on Sunday, 31 October 2010 in an attack on a Baghdad church, for which an al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility. This attack is one of the most murderous perpetrated against Iraqi Christians.
Following President Sarkozy’s initiative, in autumn 2007, to admit to France Iraqis belonging to these vulnerable religious minorities, France has to date accepted 1,300 people, in the framework of an operation conducted in partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Association d’Entraide aux Minorités d’Orient (AEMO – Association of Mutual Aid for Eastern Minorities). The refugees admitted to France are given social and administrative support by the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII – Office français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration)
Under this programme, and in the wake of the 31 October 2010 attack, Eric Besson has asked his officials to admit a further 150 people, giving priority to those injured in the attack and their families.
“With this decision, France is true to her republican tradition of asylum, and her legacy of solidarity with the religious minorities present in the East for two thousand years and today the victims of despicable, inhuman violence” concluded Eric Besson./.