Plight of Syria Britons highlighted
The Government is "actively leaving" relatives of British nationals in danger in Syria by dragging its heels with their visa applications, campaigners have claimed.
'Frustrated relatives have started a petition to urge officials to prioritise visa applications by their spouses and family members who are currently trapped in the war-torn country, calling for officials to recognise the "exceptional circumstances" they are facing.
'The petition, on campaign website Avaaz, calls for the Government to prioritise applications from people in Syria, so they can join their spouses and relatives in the UK...
'... Christine Gilmore said her husband Ziad is stuck in Damascus in "absolutely dire" circumstances, and accused officials of actively leaving him in danger.
'Ms Gilmore, 33, met her 50-year-old husband in Damascus, where she spent a year as past of a masters degree in Arabic.
'After meeting in May 2010 the couple decide to marry, and underwent a marriage ceremony in Syria in October 2011, she said.
'But she claimed their attempts to get him a visa so he could join her in the UK and escape the dangers of Syria have failed, despite meeting income and English language requirements...'
'... Shafik Salih, 42, of east London, said he was suffering in the same situation, with an application for his Syrian fiancee Nesrin, 33, refused.
'The couple, who met on when Mr Salih was visiting Damascus in 2008, got engaged in December 2012 but a visa application for Nesrin was refused earlier this year and they are currently awaiting an appeal due to be heard in April 2014.
'Mr Salih said: "I talk to my fiancee every day on Skype, chat and phone. The electricity is available for short periods, the Internet connection is very bad.
'"My fiancee is ill and she needs medications. The security position is very dangerous up there and I am worried about her.
'"My fiancee is in a war zone in Syria. She is in real danger and needs urgent health care."
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