Six Iranian Asylum Seekers in London End 38-day Hunger Strike
On 11 May 2011, six Iranian asylum seekers (Ahmad Sadeghi Pour, Morteza Bayat, Keyvan Bahari, Kiarash Bahari, Mahyrar Meyari and Mehran Meyari) ended their 38-day hunger strike. The asylum seekers, who had sewn their lips together with fishing line to protest their deportation from the United Kingdom, ended their hunger strike outside the offices of Amnesty International in London.
According to their lawyer, Mr. Hani Zubeidi of Fadiga & Co., the six asylum seekers have been thoroughly checked by doctors from Bamber Medical Foundation and based on a preliminary assessment, it appears that the men were tortured in Iran, as all six had signs of visible scars on their bodies.
Based on the medical reports and circumstances that led to their long hunger strike, the UK government kindly accepted their request and provided them with housing and other necessary benefits.
Before leaving for the hospital, they offered roses to individuals and organizations in gratitude. They were particularly grateful to organizations that supported them during their hunger strike, including the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, for urging European governments to consider the worsening human rights situation in Iran and deal with their applications sympathetically.
Shortly after, Dr. Manouchehr Sabetian and Mr. Ali Hosseini, representatives of the International Association of Iranian Scholars and Students (IAISS), met with Mr. Drewery Dyke of Amnesty International. The two representatives thanked Mr. Dyke for Amnesty International’s support. Mr. Dyke was provided with their lawyer’s information. The delegation appealed to Amnesty International to pay more attention to the plight of Iranian refugees in the UK.
It was brought to the attention of Mr. Dyke that the six refugees are victims of torture and he asked to contact their lawyer for a detailed report. The two representatives expressed deep concern about the new policies adopted by the UK Border Agency in dealing with asylum seekers from Iran. There were 1870 asylum applications from Iranian nationals last year, and the UK only granted asylum to 225 applicants.