NICOSIA, Cyprus – A Turkish Cypriot aid group says 10 Sri Lankans who were among a group of 20 countrymen aboard a ship chartered by an anti-immigrant group have been flown back to north Cyprus after being stranded at Doha airport.
Refugee Rights Association advocate Faika Deniz Pasha said Friday authorities are not allowing the men to leave the airport and that an airline official said they will be flown back to Doha.
The Sri Lankans were aboard the Defend Europe-chartered C Star which was ordered to leave Cyprus' breakaway north after being detained on suspicion of forging their documents.
Defend Europe said the men were apprentice sailors who wanted fly back home from northern Cyprus after finishing their training. But Pasha said five men stayed in the island's north to claim asylum.