Updated: 08/11/16 : 11:23:51
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PBP support of Sligo-based Iraqi hunger striker

People Before Profit Sligo are appalled to hear the news that an Iraqi man has been on hunger strike in Globe House direct provision centre for a month.

Details are sparse, but what is known is that the man faces a deportation order to the UK from which he will be deported back to Iraq. He is reportedly in an extremely weakened state and is receiving intermittent medical attention.
 
The fact that this man has been forced to such lengths to try and seek the asylum he so desperately needs is a shameful indictment on the direct provision system and the Irish asylum process. It is well known that Iraq is a warzone, with a battle raging between government and coalition forces against Islamic State. Not to mention daily attacks from various sectarian factions within the major cities of Iraq.

Deportation to his home country in these circumstances could well put this manís life in significant danger. It would be abhorrent for most people to consider deporting someone against their will to such dangerous conditions. Additionally, the fact that the government allows the use of Shannon to the US military - the main players in the destruction of Iraq - implicates the Irish establishment even further, and is more reason to grant him asylum.

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Moreover, it is evident that this horrific situation has - and continues to be - shrouded in secrecy with news of the manís condition not reaching local media for four weeks. Yet this is typical of the system more broadly, which is to keep asylum seekers out of sight and out of public and social life, in other words, out of mind. It is designed to ensure that asylum seekers cannot sink roots in this country while the state considers various options about their lives.

All of the evidence suggests that the least likely outcome is the granting of refugee status. This explains why people are segregated as the state knows that people with roots are much harder to deport.

Their friends, their workmates and their childrenís schools etc. are likely to defend them. In this particular case, it seems the authorities were afraid that the Irish people, upon hearing the manís plight would  - quite rightly - also rush to defend him.
 
People Before Profit stands in solidarity with this man who is risking his own life to seek basic human rights, not just for himself, but for others who are living in the limbo of the direct provision system. We call on the Department of Justice to grant asylum to this man immediately - and for the abolition of the inhumane direct provision system.

People Before Profit and Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) call on the public to join the demonstration this Thursday 10th November at 6.30pm at Globe House calling on the Department of Justice to grant asylum to this man and the ending of the direct provision system.