‘If I go back to India I will be killed’: Asylum seeker on hunger strike

Both of Nadim Hussain's parents were killed in clashes between Muslims and Hindus in West Bengal in 2018.
‘If I go back to India I will be killed’: Asylum seeker on hunger strike

Kenneth Fox

An asylum seeker living in Direct Provision in Cork is currently on hunger strike as he awaits a decision on permission to remain in the country.

Nadim Hussain moved to Ireland from India in January 2019. Both his parents were killed in clashes between Muslims and Hindus in West Bengal in March 2018.

Nadim and his father Ahkbar were both members of the Communist Party of India CPI (M) at the time.

Last month, he received a letter from the International Protection Appeal Tribunal (IPAT) which affirmed a recommendation of the international protection officer which stated he should be refused a declaration as a refugee along with subsidiary protection status in Ireland.

Mr Hussain is now pleading that he is granted permission to remain in the country. Those who have been refused a protection declaration, but who are not returned home for humanitarian or other compelling reasons, can be granted permission to remain.

Speaking to BreakingNews.ie he said: “I have given all the evidence I can to the International Protection Officer (IPO) but they refused me. If I go back to India I will be killed.”

There has been a rise in violence against Muslims in India over the past number of years.

The International Protection Office (IPO) is responsible for examining and processing applications for international protection.

The IPO decide, on behalf of the Minister, whether permission to remain in the State should be granted on other grounds to unsuccessful applicants for international protection.

Immigration status

Mr Hussain received an email, seen by BreakingNews.ie, on September 22nd, 2021 from the consistency office of the Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

The letter said: “On behalf of the Taoiseach, I wish to acknowledge receipts of your emails regarding your application for leave to remain in the State and your current immigration status.

“The Taoiseach is pursuing the issue on your behalf with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) at the Department of Justice. He will be in touch with you on the matter as soon as he some further news.”

It has been 25 days since the email was sent and Mr Hussain has still not heard anything back from the Taoiseach's office or about his permission to remain process.

His current hunger strike campaign follows a protest outside Leinster House last Thursday. He said his current condition was “not good” as he tried to bring attention to his plight. Mr Hussain said: “If someone dies while waiting for their permission to remain who will take that responsibility?

“This is not about Nadim or anyone else, it is about right or wrong.

I have given them all the documentation and evidence they want, what more do they want from me, my blood or my life?

Under international human rights law, the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.

Mr Hussain said that due to the current climate in India, he will face persecution if he is forced to return. He also said authorities have his fingerprints, so he would be easy to identify.

According to Citizen's Information, those who are granted permission to remain do not have all the same rights as persons granted refugee or subsidiary protection status.

They must have been resident in Ireland for five years before they are eligible to apply for Irish citizenship.

They do not have the right to family reunification, but anyone who is entitled to reside and remain in the State may apply to the Minister to permit family members to join them.

The Minister for Justice and Equality can also grant or refuse permission on a discretionary basis.

Both the Department of Justice and the Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys, were contacted for this article.

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