Czechs stop program to take 153 Iraqi Christians


The Czech government has stopped a program to give asylum to 153 Iraqi Christians who were threatened by extremists.

Thursday's decision comes after 25 Iraqis who arrived two months ago asked to cancel asylum procedures. Instead of returning to Iraq, they illegally went to neighboring Germany over the weekend and were arrested there. Officials said they all applied for asylum in Germany, citing family ties.

Eight others decided to return to Iraq.

So far, 89 Iraqi Christians have arrived, and those who didn't leave may remain.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has said the case shows a system of mandatory quotas to redistribute refugees in European Union member states cannot be functional.