Updated: 14/11/16 : 06:15:13
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Dozens attend asylum seeker's hunger strike rally

Dozens of people attended a rally in Sligo at the weekend to highlight the case of an Iranian asylum seeker who has been on hunger strike for 34 days at a local direct provision centre.

The man’s room-mate, Ahmad Kamal from Sudan, says he is now so weak that he cannot stand up and his eyesight has been affected. He says he is only taking sips of water.

Mr Kamal, who attended the United Against Racism rally in Dublin on Saturday, shares a room with the Iranian man at Globe House in Sligo, a direct provision centre.

“He knows he could die but he is scared because he is wanted by the government in his country,” said Mr Kamal.

According to Marese McDonagh writing in The Irish Times, protesters outside Globe House said the man would prefer to die here rather than be sent back to Iran. “There is a man dying in there,” said one protester who said nobody seemed to care.

The Iranian man, who is his 40s, is not being named as he fears for the safety of his family in Iran, supporters said.

Urgency

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry who has appealed to Minister Frances Fitzgerald to review the case as a matter of urgency, urged the man to end his hunger strike without prejudice to his case.

A spokesman for the Minister said the department did not make comments on individuals in the protection process and had an obligation under the Refugee Act to to protect the identity of those in the process.

“Providing any information about any person could lead to individuals in the protection process being inadvertently identified which would result in the State being in breach of its obligations in this regard,” he said.

A spokesperson for Bridgestock, the company which runs Globe House, referred queries to the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA). The RIA said it was a matter for the Department of Justice.

Sligo Today understands further protests and vigils at Globe House are planned.