Syrian dissident denied asylum in US for allegedly holding meeting for terror-linked groups
A prominent Syrian dissident has been told he cannot get political asylum in the United States because he organized a conference with Syrian opposition groups — even though the American government has supported members of those same groups in the Syrian civil war, The News York Times reported.
The case of the dissident, Radwan Ziadeh, 41, who lives in a suburb of Washington, reveals a stark gap between American immigration law and foreign policy, NYT added.
Ever since counterterrorism provisions were expanded after the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States government has considered many armed opposition groups around the world, including some that it backs diplomatically or financially, to be “undesignated terrorist organizations.” Anyone who provides “material support” to those groups can be disqualified from receiving immigration papers, according to the NYT.
Mr. Ziadeh is a prominent political opponent of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. He has received fellowships at Harvard, Georgetown and the United States Institute of Peace, which is funded by Congress. He has testified in Congress, written books and served briefly as a spokesman for the Syrian opposition umbrella group that the American government supported, the NYT also said.
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