March through Norwich city centre in support of Syrian refugees

A Palm Sunday procession through Norwich urged Norfolk County Council to accept 50 Syrian refugees,

A Palm Sunday procession through Norwich urged Norfolk County Council to accept 50 Syrian refugees, Photo: Keith Morris - Credit: Archant

More than 100 people gathered for a Palm Sunday march in Norwich urging Norfolk County Council to 'finally' accept 50 refugees from Syria.

The event, which started at the St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral, included a rally outside St Peter Mancroft Church.

Anas Injarie, an eye surgeon from Syria at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: 'At the moment - right now - we have people at our doorstep, people calling for us and our humanity.

'What are we, if we do not help them? What are we, if we do not open our doors for the children and women suffering? What are we, if in a city like Norwich, deeply rooted in refugee culture, we are not prepared to help 50?'

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: 'The Government has been clear that resettling of thousands of Syrian refugees in the UK cannot be accomplished overnight. Instead, they want to manage it in stages throughout this parliament to ensure it is done safely and to satisfy national security issues.

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'There is a commitment from the relevant authorities in Norfolk to resettle 50 Syrian refugees in the county and we are continuing discussions with central Government on how this can be managed. We and our partners have experience of resettling vulnerable refugees and it is vital that we are realistic about the services and support that need to be in place to enable refugees coming from a war-torn country to integrate successfully.

'We have also worked hard to prepare sound estimates for the Government about the potential financial costs, to minimise any impact on already stretched local services and taxpayers in Norfolk.'

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