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Amnesty: 380,000 Syrians most at risk need refuge abroad

February 4, 2015

BEIRUT (AP) — Wealthy nations should agree to accept hundreds of thousands of Syrians because they cannot safely remain within the region, Amnesty International argued Wednesday in a damning report on the international response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

The London-based humans rights watchdog says about 380,000 of the 4 million Syrians sheltering in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey should be relocated abroad because they are in high-risk categories for attack or abuse as homosexuals, survivors of rape or torture, or children without guardians or requiring advanced medical care.

Amnesty’s report found that about 80,000 had been offered new homes as refugees overseas, while 300,000 more remain in legal limbo.

Amnesty spokeswoman Sara Hashash said the organization did not have full details on those countries accepting Syrian refugees, but said Germany and Canada were leading the way, while the United Kingdom had offered 900 places.

The report included case studies and interviews of refugees seeking resettlement abroad, among them a gay man living in Jordan that the report identified only by his first name, Hamood. He said his own brother tried to kill him because of his sexuality and described the prospect of living in Europe as a chance to be reborn.

Amnesty said it planned to encourage public support for accepting more Syrians in Western countries using the social media hashtag #opentoSyria.

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