Asylum seekers go on hunger strike in solidarity with Kinsale Rd resident

Asylum seekers go on hunger strike in solidarity with Kinsale Rd resident

Nadim Hussain, an Indian asylum seeker, lives in the Kinsale Road direct provision centre. His asylum case was rejected by the Department of Justice.

A GROUP of asylum seekers is starting a hunger strike today at the entrance to Leinster House in support of a man living in the Kinsale Rd direct provision centre in Cork.

Nadim Hussain, an Indian asylum seeker who has worked in restaurants and as hospital security, told The Echo that his asylum case was rejected by the Department of Justice (DoJ), despite providing it with evidence of the danger he would be in if he had to return to his native country.

Mr Hussain said that his parents were killed in India in March 2018 for their religious beliefs and political activities, in which Mr Hussain was also involved.

“I have provided death certificates that detailed the reason for my parents’ deaths. It matched with that day when my parents were killed in violence between supporters of prime minister Narendra Modi and supporters of an opposition party where my parents belong,” Mr Hussain said.

He also believes the risk to his life increased explicitly this year because of the behaviour towards Muslims in some parts of India.

Human Rights Watch reported in February that the Indian government adopted laws and policies that systematically discriminate against Muslims and stigmatise government critics.

Raminder Singh, another asylum seeker joining the hunger strike with Mr Hussain, said: “I believe that my friend deserves to get a ‘leave to remain’ status by the DoJ, especially as he was working as an essential worker during the pandemic.”

The DoJ said it did not comment on individual cases, but in all cases “a full consideration of their private and family rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights as well as consideration of their work situation, among other issues” is examined. 

It added that the principle of non-refoulement applies, which means “no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm”.

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