Support demands of Afghan Hunger strikers

Date:

WSM members have been taking part in solidarity vigils and other support work for the 41 Afghan Hunger strikers currently in St. Patrick Cathedral in Dublin. We support their demand to be allowed to stay in Ireland and we will be taking part in demonstrations and other events over the new few days in support of that demand. Please come along to these events.

 

The following statement was issued by the Afghans on their first day and explains their reasons for their action

Hunger strike by 33 Afghan asylum seekers in order to be given refugee status by the Irish Department of Justice

Afghanistan has been a country in critical war conditions for a long time, whether it was occupied by Russia troops or whether there was civil war. The human rights records remained poor due to a weak central government and deadly insurgents.

There are reports of politically motivated or extrajudicial killings by the governments or its agents. For example torture, official impunity, poor prison conditions, prolonged pre-trial detention, abuse of authority by regional commanders, restrictions on freedom of the press, religion, movement and associations, acts of violence, discrimination against women and minorities, trafficking in persons, abuse of workers rights, child labour, etc.

Unacquainted with the totality of the current situation in Afghanistan, the refugee application commissioner has not given full attention to our situation and has refused most of our asylum application without considering our human rights.

We held a disciplined demonstration against the decisions in Dublin in order to defend our rights and to fight for justice, but unfortunately we have not been give a positive response by the Department of Justice. We left Afghanistan to survive and protect our rights.

We have been here in Ireland for a number of years and most of us have been suffering from mental and physical problems on top of the mental and physical torture we had to endure in Afghanistan.

We could not bear this situation any longer. So finally we have taken refuge in this holy church and started a hunger strike to defend our human rights to asylum.

We want the opportunity to live a life in peace here in ireland. Otherwise we will face death.

St. Patrick's Cathedral Patrick Street Dublin 8


Justice Minister Michael McDowell claims Afghanistan is safe yet the Department of Foreign Affairs website updated 3rd of May warns “against all non-essential travel to Kabul and against all travel to other parts of Afghanistan”. It goes on to state that “ The security situation in Afghanistan remains serious and the threat to Westerners from terrorist or criminal violence, including kidnappings, remains high. Irish citizens travelling to Kabul are urged to exercise extreme caution and vigilance throughout their visit”.

A vigil is taking place at 12.30 and at 18.30 every day outside the cathedral, please attend this.

On Saturday there is a rally organised by Residents Against Racism
LET THEM STAY
Rally at 2pm, outside St Patrick's cathedral (corner of Patrick Street and Kevin Street)

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For the latest news see http://www.indymedia.ie/migration
For background articles on Asylum in Ireland see http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/refugee.html

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