Demonstration Friday September 21st 2pm: No Deportations to Afghanistan
A demonstration supporting the asylum seekers on hunger strike leaves from Kolmen sepän aukio Friday 21st September at 2 pm. The demonstration will proceed to Parliament House where Members of Parliament and representatives from different organizations will give speeches.
The Demonstration has been called by the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees and Free Movement Network (Vapaa liikkuvuus –verkosto). “These asylum seekers have a right to residence permits on basis of international protection”, says Omar Bahaaldin, Chairman of the Finnish Chapter of International Federation of Iraqi Refugees.
The three Afghan asylum seekers have been on hunger strike since Monday 10th September. They have received negative asylum decisions. They are protesting their deportation to Afghanistan because they believe that they are in mortal danger there. They are asking Finland to give them protection. The men have been protesting in front of House of Parliament for over a week.
“All deportations to Afghanistan must be stopped immediately”, says Katja Tuominen from Free Movement Network. “The recent battles and military strikes clearly illustrate that no region of the country can be considered safe. “How could we live safely in Afghanistan if even the president of the country and his relatives are in constant danger?” asks Golkhan, one of the persons on hunger strike.
The number of civilian casualties in the Afghanistan conflict has risen every year since 2007. According to the UN in 2011 alone over 3000 civilians were killed in battles. The three men on hunger strike have received negative asylum decisions from Finnish Immigration Service. They have appealed to administrative law but fear that their appeals will be rejected because Finland forcibly returns Afghans to regions it considers safe.
The men have been forced to live in inhuman conditions in Europe for several years. They have arrived to Europe through Greece, a country that does not even have the most elementary asylum system.
The hunger strikers were persecuted in Afghanistan because of their political activities. One of the men has been tortured. Their close relatives have been killed violently very recently.
“The decisions made by the Finnish Immigration Service in these cases have been incorrect. The Immigration Service does not understand that the state of Afghanistan cannot protect its citizens from violence between different groups, even in those regions of the country where battles are currently not imminent”, says Markus Himanen from Free Movement Network.
Immigration Service must immediately re-open the cases of these three men in order to grant them residence permits. Their health is deteriorating rapidly. One of the men has already been forced to spend a night in hospital on medical grounds..