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Open letter to Richard Branson - please, allow Syrian refugees to board your planes

This petition had 572 supporters

Dear Richard Branson,

few days ago I watched video on YouTube from professor Hans Rosling (Gapminder foundation) where he explained why refugees from Syria risk their lives, thousands of them dying at sea. They are paying thousands of euro's to board on boats, instead of paying couple of hundred euros for airplane tickets.

Indeed why?

You can see video here:

Also, for understanding rest of this letter please watch another video from Prof. Hans Rosling:

Clearly, as prof. Rosling explained, refugees are paying 1.000 euros or more (in fact, reports are saying that they are spending even 5000 euros to get to the EU), so they CAN pay for an airplane ticket, which would cost them probably 400-500 euros, but they are stopped on checking counter, by the airlines staff, for getting on the airplane.

According to prof. Rosling, it is because of EU directive:

"EU DIRECTIVE 2001/51/EC":

1. In order to combat illegal immigration effectively, it is essential that all the Member States introduce provisions laying down the obligations of carrier transporting foreign nationals into the territory of the Member States."

What this directive means is that every airline that bring the person without the proper document for entry into one country, must pay all the cost for returning this person back to where they came from.
And this is what makes commercial airlines not to allow people to board.


this directive also says that it does not apply to refugees that want to come based on Geneva convention.

(3) Application of this Directive is without prejudice to the obligations resulting from the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees

EU government transferred a task, to decide who is a refugee and who is not, to the staff at the checking counter. In the end, nobody can board without a visa. And they can not even apply for a visa until they get in the EU.

It is this directive that is the reason for so many refugees drowning in the Mediterranean sea.

What does this mean for you?

If you, meaning your staff from Virgin airlines, allow people to board, there will be no children in the sea. No dead bodies of 4 yrs old on beaches in the Mediterranean.

Let them pay return ticket, if they do not get asylum in EU, you will not lose anything.

At least, let kids with their mothers buy ticket and let them board on your planes.

Refugees can buy return ticket, and sign a some document declaring that they are refugees according to Geneva Convention, and if destination country will not give them status, they will use the ticket to go back.

It is just your will and you can say "Ok, those people are refugees, let them board, if EU country at destination denies refugee status, they paid ticket anyway for a flight back".

Lot of people will say "Why the refugees need to pay at all?". Let that be second step to think about. I am sure there will be people to cover costs for plane tickets.

I am directing this letter to Mr. Richard Branson, because he inspired me with what he does, and I hope this letter will come to him eventually and that he will open his company and create kind of "refugee rescue airline".

I know that a lot of people will say this letter is silly, and a silly idea, but a lot of people are saying that traveling to space is a silly idea as well

Help them.

If any other airlines want to do this it would also be great.

So please, sign this petition and share it with your friends if you agree that airlines should allow refugees onboard

This letter was published here:

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Photo credit: Freedom House

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