We have been informed that since Monday, April 11, 2011, several Iranian refugees detained at the Limassol Police Station in Cyprus have gone on hunger strike in protest against the inhumane violation of their rights.
Among the refugees being detained include Mohsen Avardoudri, 53 years old, who is reported to have suffered a heart attack on April 12, 2011. Although he was taken to the hospital, he was returned to the detention center within a single day, and his health continues to decline. Another detainee has swallowed 18 razor blades as a form of protest against his detention, and he is also in poor condition. Mr. Hossein Hosseininejad Seresty has also been sent to the hospital after 22 days of hunger strike in protest against the Cypriot government’s decision to illegally place his young child in the custody of a local family. Other Iranian refugees being detained solely because of their refugee status report that they have contracted Hepatitis C as a result of detention at the Limassol, Cyprus police station.
The rights of Iranian and other refugees are being violated by the Cypriot government in ways that are both egregiously inhumane and also illegal under international law. ICRIR will continue to inform the public about the situation for Iranian refugees in Cyprus. We support the efforts of these refugees to defend their rights at the same time that we encourage them to finish their hunger strike and end any related actions that cause self-harm.
Members of the ICRIR include Action for Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East, International Federation for Iranian Refugees, Iranian Refugees Action Network, Iranian Refugee Amnesty Network, and Mission Free Iran.