LSR has been very busy these last two weeks.
The Al Elfi family fled their war-torn town of Homs in Syria, leaving everything behind. Via Algeria and Morocco they arrived in Spain where they were held in a camp for several months. They finally managed to join their friends in the Languedoc region of southern France. The French government has now told them to leave immediately and return to Spain where they first entered Europe.
LSR started a petition to have this decision overturned as it has been for others in similar circumstances at the discretion of the authorities. Our volunteers posted, linked, shared, tweeted, begged for votes.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 LSR delivered the petition with over 2000 signatures to Pierre Pouëssel, the Préfect of Hérault in Montpellier.
LSR volunteers started a campaign to connect with various media outlets to get coverage of the case. Phone calls were made, emails sent, letters written, another press release drafted. More posting, sharing, tweeting.
Kim Willsher, a reporter from the British paper The Guardian came from Paris and interviewed the family for an article in The Guardian/The Observer.
Saturday, April 16. A letter was sent to Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior, pleading the family’s case.
Sunday, April 17. The Guardian / Observer published Kim Willsher’s article, “Syrian family who fled Homs for safety get a cold shoulder from France” about the case of the Al Elfi family and the issue of refugees being victimized by varying interpretations of poorly conceived and outdated Dublin Regulations.
Monday, April 18. The Beziers edition of the newspaper MidiLibre published the article, “De la Syrie au Piscénois, l’exil de la famille El Alfi.”
Languedoc Living, an online magazine, published an article, “Syrian family in dire need of help.”
In the afternoon a press release was sent out far and wide to every paper, journalist, writer for whom we could find contact information.
In the evening one of our volunteers was interviewed on the radio station France Blue.
We kept on posting, sharing, tweeting, calling and e-mailing.
Tuesday, April 19. The TV station France 3 Languedoc-Roussillon sent a crew to film an interview with the family which was broadcast that day at 7 pm, titled “Hérault : une association se bat pour éviter l’expulsion d’une famille syrienne.”
Wednesday, April 20. We now have over 3000 signatures on the petition. Please sign if you have not yet done so, and please share and send on.
We are trying.
More to follow.