A refugee dad and his four children have been living in an airport terminal for almost 50 days, trapped in an red-tape battle with Russian authorities.
Hasan Abdo Ahmad and his family arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport intending to apply for asylum but border guards confiscated their passports on suspicion they were fake, according to The Moscow Times.
The documents were later confirmed to be genuine, but Russian officials continue to deny the Kurdish family refugee status and they remain in the same transit zone where NSA leaker Edward Snowden spent 40 days in 2013.
The family has now set up home in a former smoking area in Terminal E, washing their clothes in airport restrooms and relying on groceries brought to the airport by human rights workers.
Ahmad arrived with his wife, Gulistan and their children Lavin, 3, Lund, 7, Rozkar, 9, and Rinas, 13, on Sept. 10.
They lived in the Iraqi city of Irbil but fled after repeated suicide attacks, according to the Moscow Times.
Gulistan eventually became sick and was admitted to a Moscow hospital, according to an interview with her sister, who was already living in Russia, in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.
The rest of the family remains in the glass zone at the airport. "Despite all that's happened to us here, I don't want to return home," Ahmad told news site Meduza.
Rinas gave an interview over Skype to Britain’s Channel 4 News. “This is my sister,” he said. “All the time she is saying, when can we go outside?”