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Videos:Refugee Voices: From Persecution to Freedom

World  (tags: violence, world, war, usa, Refugees&Relief, Refugees&Relief, politics, society, middle-east, humanrights, HumanRights, government, freedoms, europe, ethics, conflict, africa, asia, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', interesting )

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As victims of violence and persecution, refugees come to the United States to seek safety. But all too often they arrive traumatized, without knowledge of the U.S. Legal system including the asylum process.Check out inspiring stories of refugees who rec

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JL A (282)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 10:38 am
The United States has a longstanding tradition of providing safe haven to the persecuted. Yet not all refugees receive a warm welcome here. Some are placed in detention and forced to navigate the complex asylum system. The government doesn't provide them an attorney, and most can't afford one.

This is why we've been matching asylum seekers with pro bono attorneys since 1978.

Today, on World Refugee Day, we want to introduce you to refugees who fled persecution and, with the help of our pro bono attorneys, received asylum in the United States. Their stories of persecution, survival, and building a new life are truly inspiring, and have informed our advocacy for better refugee protection.
Photo of Awoke from Ethiopia Awoke owned and ran an internet café in Ethiopia. His clients often used his café to access opposition websites, but the government found out. He was detained and tortured, and was forced to leave the country out of fear of further persecution. Check out his story.
Photo of Patricia from Honduras As a result of Patricia's vocal advocacy for LGBT and women's rights, she was targeted, repeatedly threatened, and eventually became a victim of sexual violence. Afraid for her life, she fled the country and came to the United States. Check out her story.
Photo of Kani from Kurdistan As a Kurd from Turkey, Kani faced difficulties advocating for his community. He came to the United States to work for Kurdish rights. But as his advocacy became prominent, he was forced to seek asylum. Check out his story.

Check out these inspiring stories and share them to your networks on Facebook and Twitter.


Marc Jayson Climaco
Human Rights First

Wilde Thange (10)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 11:44 am
And yet US citizen have to leave to be free of the military police state we are building at home having had so much experience helping build them in South America and Iran. And some like Ecuador are beginning to stand up and say We Are Spartacus and we are tired of the spears and arrow of our clocks and dagger and don't believe in our spheres of influence and the years of fears of influence..

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 11:56 am

I'm betting the republicans would call them "job killers" On a more serious note, it is good to see that many are still finding a new path and safety in the United States, there is still a hopeful light.

JL A (282)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 12:23 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Terry V (30)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 2:56 pm
Interesting stories. Thanks

JL A (282)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 3:02 pm
You are welcome Terry. You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last day.

Helen Porter (39)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 5:15 pm
Hey! This is a good one.

The grass on the other side is NOT always greener.

JL A (282)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 5:17 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Zee because you have done so within the last day.

John De Avalon (36)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 5:39 am
The things we take for granted...

How lucky we are to live where we do.

John De Avalon (36)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 5:41 am
We are all brothers and sisters. We should help each other. That's fundamentally why we're here - to help each other along.


JL A (282)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 7:13 am
You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last day.

. (0)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 1:03 pm
Job killers is way to harsh Kit. These are profiles of people who went through the proper channels to become citizens. They did it for themselves, and in the case of the man from Turkey, he made legitimate citizens.of others.
Compare these people to the Mexicans who sneaked across the border, DEMANDING rights in the way of medical care, and aid for their families.

JL A (282)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 1:17 pm
No one has ever found evidence that the small percent of immigrants from Mexico (29% of all) and the lesser amount who didn't follow the rules ever have demanded medical care or other aid for their families. However, those who follow Christ's teaching or otherwise believe all persons are entitled to human rights do indeed advocate for medical care (like every other country in the world provides visitors) and prevention from starvation. Kit is right--I've heard that argument out of GOP mouths all too often to say otherwise.

Gene Jacobson (290)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 4:16 pm
This is good work. But this is a global problem. It can't be addressed by just one country. Do we have room for all who are being persecuted because they are legion. I don't understand why the UN is not at work establishing safe havens around the world for refugees and they too are legion. It is just insane that so many people are in jeopardy, real harm, for their opinions, their orientation, the color of their skin or any other reason. It is the entire planet which needs a heart transplant. And I don't know where you begin something on that scale. Piecemeal is not the answer, that leaves too many behind. Who stops the persecutors? How? Why isn't the problem of refugees around the world a problem the world is working on? Ecuador is taking in refugees while its own people are fleeing. How does that make sense and in what universe? It is like a giant game of musical chairs only with far too few chairs. We have so far to go to become a civilization. Honestly, I think the ultimate answer is a world wide governmental body, we aren't there yet, but dealing with things as we do with 200 separate countries making up the rules as they go isn't working for anyone. There has to be a better way and we not only haven't found it, we aren't even looking. We see only the grains of sand, not the beach.

JL A (282)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 5:18 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Gene because you have done so within the last day.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 26, 2013, 7:46 pm

Just shaking my head in disbelief. Some times there are no words.
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