KLM turns away US-bound passengers after Trump 'Muslim ban'

Comes after rights groups file law suit against president over refugees detained at JFK Airport

Updated: 
KLM Boeing 737

Dutch airline KLM has turned away seven travellers to the United States who are from Muslim-majority countries following President Donald Trump's 90-day ban.

The airline said it was forced to turn the passengers away as they would no longer be accepted in America, the Associated Press reports.

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KLM spokeswoman Manel Vrijenhoek said: "We would love to bring them there. That's not the problem. It's just that this is what the U.S. sprang on the rest of the world — that these people are no longer welcome."

Vrijenhoek said they were due to fly from different airports from around the world but did not have specific information on their nationalities.

She confirmed they were from the seven countries affected by Trump's three-month immigration ban: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Qatar Airways has also advised passengers travelling from these countries that they must have a US green card or diplomatic visa.

Google has recalled its Middle Eastern staff back to the States, with more 100 company staff affected by the order.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that right groups have filed a law suit after two refugees were held at New York's JFK Airport.

The two Iraqi refugees detained, one of whom was a US Army interpreter, were in transit when the executive order was signed on Friday.

The National Immigration Law Centre (NILC) says it is suing President Trump and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

It told the BBC that the Iraqis were "courageous Haneed Khalid Darweesh, who interpreted for US army and Haider Sameer Alshawi also targeted for aiding US military".

Mark Doss, the lawyer for the pair, said it was "absolutely disgraceful that we would be turning back and detaining the most vulnerable individuals in the world - individuals who have served our country".