Iranian woman living in Moscow airport seeks asylum in Canada
An Iranian woman who has been living in Moscow's international airport for the last nine months continues to be in legal limbo as she seeks asylum in Canada.
Zahra Kamalfar, who was granted refugee status by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office in late November, said she wants to go to Canada with her two children.
She said her brother has been living in Vancouversince hefled Iran as a refugee more than a decade ago.
Zahra's lawyers said she's applied for asylum in Canada but there's been no response, leaving her stranded at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport.
"I want to go Canada because I want go someplace that is good place, that is good place for future [of] my child," she told CBC News.
"Canada is number one in theworld because person from Canada is very nice andthey understand respect," her 18-year-old daughter Anna said.
Her lawyerssaid she arrived in Russia nearly two years ago, after fleeing Iran during a prison sentence.
She took her two children, got phoney travel papers and left for Canada, via Russia and Germany.
She got to Germany but was caught and sent back to Russia.
Zahra said Russian officials have tried to deport her, and her two children, back to Iran.
She said theywon't allow her to leave the airport, where her family must sleep on the floor in public, and use a sink in a public washroom to bathe.
Meanwhile, her lawyers say the Canadian consulate won't give her any information about her case. Canadian diplomats say that Canada's privacy laws prevent them from doing so.
But her lawyers can't understand what's taking so long to treat her asylum request. Canada has a special procedure to deal with desperate cases in 72 hours and another for women in danger.
Zahra said what hurts most is seeing her children suffer, especially her 10-year-old son David.
"He need books, he need everything. Now he is very tired. Every day he cry and cry. He told me, 'I don’t have hope.'"