This family of Kurdish asylum seekers just spent their 50th day in a Moscow airport
Hasan Abdo Ahmed Mohammed and his family were living in the corner of the airport until they were recently moved into a room at the airport hotel. (Twitter)
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A Kurdish family with Iraqi and Syrian citizenships are in their 50th day of living in a Moscow airport as lawyers and immigration officials untangle their asylum request.
Hasan Abdo Ahmed Mohammed, his wife, Gulistan Shaho, and their four children, ages 3 to 13, camped out in a corner of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport until they were recently moved to a small room in the airport's hotel. Since they cannot prepare meals, a UN agency provides them with food.
The family -- among millions fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq -- immigrated to Moscow, where they were informed their immigration paperwork was counterfeit and that they would be deported back to Syria.
They will live at the airport until Russia's Federal Security Service finishes an investigation of whether they entered Russia illegally.
The family chose Russia because they have relatives there, but Mohammad believes Russia's close ties with the regime of Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad is delaying their approval.
"Russia has a very strong relation with the Syrian regime, and they don't want to encourage Syrians to leave the country," he said.
Roza Akhmedova, the Mohammad family's lawyer, said authorities have found their passports to be legitimate, and that a decision is expected soon.
Russia accepted 8,000 Syrian refugees in September, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, noting Russia, unlike some European countries, has not changed its immigration laws to accommodate the flood of people from the Middle East seeking asylum.
By Ed Adamczyk