Prague, Aug 15 (CTK) – Czech asylum was sought by 872 people from January to July, which is nearly the same number as in the first seven months of 2015 (884), and the highest number of asylum seekers were from Ukraine, Iraq, China, Cuba and Syria, according to the latest data released by the Interior Ministry.
The largest group of asylum seekers continued to be Ukrainians (289), though their number considerably decreased compared to last year.
Thanks to a resettlement project for Iraqi refugees, Czech authorities received 133 applications for asylum from citizens of Iraq this year. In the previous years, very few Iraqis applied for asylum in the country.
Unlike in 2015, Chinese have been among the most frequent seekers (64) this year. Daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) recently wrote that these asylum seekers were Christians who faced persecution over their faith in China.
Other asylum seekers were from Cuba (54), Syria (49), Vietnam (39), Armenia (30), Russia (28) and Georgia (27).
During the first seven months of the year, 132 foreigners were granted asylum and 217 received subsidiary protection that is granted for a definite period. In 589 cases, asylum was not granted or the asylum proceedings were halted. Decisions on 598 applications were yet to be made.
Last year, a total of 1525 foreigners applied for Czech asylum, compared with 1156 in 2014. In 2010-2013, the annual number of asylum seekers stayed below 1,000. Year 2001 with more than 18,000 applications was exceptional.