Activists in Brussels, Belgium have called for a protest demonstration outside of the Embassy of Cyprus to demand that the rights of Iranian refugees be upheld by the Cypriot government. According to UNHCR’s 2009 Global Trends Report, Cyprus has among the lowest, if not the lowest, refugee recognition rate in the E.U., at 1.1 percent (see Table 10, 2009 Global Trends Annex Tables). In addition to unrealistically low refugee recognition rates in Cyprus, numerous reports have emerged over the years about arbitrary and illegal detention of Iranian refugees in Cyprus, sometimes for years; lack of access to access to the competent legal services required to navigate the process of seeking asylum; lack of access to medical care when needed; and lack of access to employment other than exploitative black market work. Additionally, there are reports of forced deportations to Iran that are reported by the family to have resulted in the death of the deported individual at the hands of the Islamic Republic.
On every count, the Government of Cyprus is refusing to recognize and uphold the rights of Iranian refugees.
It is within this context, where Iranian and other refugees in Cyprus suffer an utter lack of recognized rights, that refugee rights activists Nadia Borremans and Morteza Mollazeinal have called for both a meeting with the Ambassador of Cyprus and for a protest demonstration outside of the Cypriot Embassy on 17 May 2011. Below is the letter written by Nadia Borremans requesting a meeting with the Ambassador to discuss the situation of Iranian refugees in Cyprus, followed by the flyers calling for protest (in English and Farsi). Please distribute the flyers far and wide to raise awareness of the plight of Iranian refugees in Cyprus.
Mission Free Iran encourages everyone to join Nadia and Morteza on the 17th of May to demand the following:
1. IMMEDIATE RELEASE of long-term detainees – providing them with a legal status
2. REOPEN the asylum files for those from countries at high risk
3. PROVIDE detainees with IMMEDIATE ACCESS to legal and medical help
4. IMPLEMENT the European directives concerning asylum and detention policy
5. IMPLEMENT the European directives concerning family reunification and long term residence
LETTER TO THE AMBASSADOR OF CYPRUS to BELGIUM, from Nadia Borremans
Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus
For the attention of the Ambassador
Mrs Mavronicola – Droushiotis
Brussels, 11th of May 2011
Ref : request for meeting on Tuesday the 17th of May – afternoon
Transmission of a documentation map concerning the situation of long term detainees in Cyprus
On behalf of the group of supporters, friends and family members we send you this letter concerning the actual situation of long term detainees in Cyprus.
Since October 2007 we are following up the issue of long term detention in Cyprus , particularly and because of the growing rate of worrying messages coming from the detainees spread all over the country in different police stations and detention centres.
These messages concern unfortunately violations of all fundamental rights such as
1. access to the asylum procedure
2. legal aid during the procedure
3. access to medical care even for patients suffering diabetes, hepatitis
4. legal aid during detention
Nevertheless the Republic of Cyprus , being a EU member has undersigned the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms but does not seem to ‘bother’ about the implementation of these precious principles on the subject of asylum, migration and detention policies and practices. Infractions of Article 3 (prohibition of torture), Article 5 (right to liberty and security), Article 6 (right to a fair trial) and especially Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) are a daily reality for a lot of migrants and asylum seekers in Cyprus.
During our meeting that you hopefully will accept we would be very grateful to transmit you a documentation map of these stories of existing persons who undergo today dramatic situations in Cyprus that you do not know.
Your Excellency, we are sure that you are not aware of these terrible stories.
Please except our request for a meeting with you that will happen in a serene way in order to exchange this information with some recommendations on behalf of our people.
0486 399 937
[FARSI FLYER for 17 MAY PROTEST; BRUSSELS, BELGIUM]
[ENGLISH FLYER for 17 MAY PROTEST; BRUSSELS, BELGIUM]