Rabat - A Syrian refugee who says he is wanted by the Assad government and his 10-year-old son have been stuck in the Casablanca airport for three days now after being denied entry to Morocco.
Rabat – A Syrian refugee who says he is wanted by the Assad government and his 10-year-old son have been stuck in the Casablanca airport for three days now after being denied entry to Morocco.
The refugee, 38-year-old Bashar Jalabi, a former soldier in the ranks of the Assad military who joined the Free Syrian Army at the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011, arrived at the Casablanca airport from Turkey late on Sunday with his son when they were told they could not enter the country.
According to the Middle East Eye, the Moroccan authorities denied them entry because Jabali’s son, Haider, does not have a Moroccan residency permit.
Originally from the city of Homs in Western Syria, Bashar Jalabi is married to a Moroccan woman who had been living with him in Syria before the start of the revolution.
He travelled to Morocco where he obtained legal residency and found work. He currently lives in the country with his Moroccan wife and their three-year-old son.
Speaking via telephone with MEE, Jalabi said he fears now he may be forced to return to Syria if he was not allowed to enter Morocco with his son from a previous marriage.
His son, Haider, has been living with a Syrian family in Turkey. His father tried to obtain him a residency permit from the Moroccan embassy in Beirut, but was denied both times.
According to the same source, they were told by the airport authorities in Casablanca that they would have to return to Turkey. He fears if they return to Turkey, they will be deported by Turkish authorities back to Syria. “How can I go back to Syria, me and my 10-year-old son? I am wanted by the regime,” he told MEE. “They will kill me.”
The father and son are beginning their third day in the Casablanca airport. Their passports were confiscated and they have nowhere to sleep.
“My son is angry with me,” he told MEE. “He says it’s my fault that we are in this situation because I was the one who took him from Turkey to here, to this airport, where he has to sleep on the floor.”