Human Rights, Solidarity with Refugees

ICRIR: Hunger-striking Asylum-Seekers Demand Refugees’ Child be Returned Immediately

Cyprus: Foreigner in a Detention Center, June 2010. Photo credit: O. Clochard et O. Pissoat

A group of Iranian asylum-seekers who are illegally detained in Limassol, Cyprus, have gone on hunger strike to demand the return of a refugee’s child who has been illegally given to another family; the release from detention of all asylum-seekers who are being held for no other reason than in relation to an expired passport or visa; and the review and correction of their asylum-seekers’ files with the assistance of a competent translator other than the one believed by the asylum-seekers to be collaborating with the Islamic Republic.

We ask all concerned people worldwide to write urgently in support of their demands. Email addresses and a sample letter appear below the demands of the asylum-seekers.

Statement and Demands of Detained Iranian Asylum-Seekers in Cyprus

Asylum seekers are not criminals. We are not criminals, and we do not accept being treated as criminals.

Our protest against our detention has nothing to do with the staff’s inhumane treatment of us, the poor condition of the detention facilities, or the poor quality of food, although we believe these all to be unacceptable and subject to international investigation to determine whether in fact the government of Cyprus is in compliance with basic standards set out in European Union and international conventions and agreements regarding human and refugee rights. However, at this time, we, the undersigned, make the following demands:

1- We demand the immediate release of Mr. Hossein Hossein-nejad Seresty (arc : 5506241) and his wife Mrs. Roghayeh Hossein Nezadeh (arc : 5506240) and their immediate unification with their 3-year-old child.

2- We demand the immediate release of all asylum seekers who have been detained on no other grounds than not having a visa or a valid passport.

3- We demand review of our asylum applications, corrections made to our files with the help of a reliable interpreter other than Mr. Khalaj, and new rulings on our cases based on our corrected documents.

Addresses and sample letter in support of the demands of the Iranian asylum-seekers in Limassol, Cyprus:

Addresses: Please send this sample letter to the inspector general at the UNHCR, the Cypriot police, and several offices within the International Committee of the Red Cross, including their refugee unit at the following addresses:
inspector@unhcr.org, police@police.gov.cy, informatics@redcross.gr, swd@redcross.gr, ir@redcross.gr

Sample letter:
To the Inspector General at UNHCR:

I am writing to you with deep concern about the conditions facing Iranian refugees in Cyprus. Two parents, Mr. Hossein Hossein-nejad Seresty (arc : 5506241) and his wife Mrs. Roghayeh Hossein Nezadeh (arc : 5506240), have been illegally detained and their 3-year-old child has been given to another family; that is an outrage beyond words and I demand immediate investigation. Further, the refugees report that their asylum cases have been rejected due to the bad practices of a corrupt translator. As a result, many of them have been left in a situation where their passport and/or visa have expired, yet they fear for their security if their are returned to Iran and the known persecution awaiting them there, as explicitly promised by the Islamic Republic.

I demand that you urgently investigate the practice and conditions of detention facing Iranian refugees in Cyprus. Refugees have a right under international law to asylum and protection, and they have the right not to be returned against their will to a place where they fear for their safety and security. These fundamental rights of refugees must be respected and upheld.

Sincerely,
[your name]

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.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “ICRIR: Hunger-striking Asylum-Seekers Demand Refugees’ Child be Returned Immediately

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,
    Perhaps you are unaware that Iranians who have emigrated out Iran risk being imprisoned in case if they are returned to Iran. Their regime government is extremely brutal, thousands of people are tortured in prisones, mistreated in all ways, many of them executed by hanging. Iranian people unlike any other refugees are the most in need of getting positive decisions and they should be able to live in European Union or USA. They are very valuable people because they know how evil the system in their country is and they appreciate as no one else how good is system of democracy and freedom as exercised in EU and USA. Let them, please stay in Cyprus and elsewhere in Europe as soon as possible. They are people who emigrated genuinely away from dictatorship and in search of freedom, away from ruthless persecution and prosecution in Iran and to peace and living conditions in Europe. They simply can’t go back to Iran as long as the evil regime there is in power. Yours sincerely, Thaddeus Hutyra, Facebook World Human Rights Centre and The World Freedom Center

    Posted by Tadeusz Hutyra | April 21, 2011, 7:36 am
  2. What concerns Two parents, Mr. Hossein Hossein-nejad Seresty (arc : 5506241) and his wife Mrs. Roghayeh Hossein Nezadeh (arc : 5506240), have been illegally detained and whose 3-year-old child has been given to another family I express my deep sadness that this was done against the mentioned family. The child should be returned to his/her parents immediately and the parents should get legal status as soon as possible. It can’t be that they have emigrated from one evil to another evil. Please bring it back to right perspective. Your sincerely, Thaddeus Hutyra, Facebook World Human Rights Centre and The World Freedom Center

    Posted by Tadeusz Hutyra | April 21, 2011, 7:42 am

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