Hunger strikers get access to asylum files
9 August 2005AMSTERDAM — Two of the five Iranian men who have been on hunger strike for 40 days in the Netherlands have been allowed access to the files compiled about their failed asylum applications.
9 August 2005
AMSTERDAM — Two of the five Iranian men who have been on hunger strike for 40 days in the Netherlands have been allowed access to the files compiled about their failed asylum applications.
The pair's lawyer said on Thursday that the file of one of her clients definitely suggested his case should be reviewed as the decision-making outlined in the paperwork was "sloppy". She had yet to study the second file by Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile the hunger strike by the five Iranian men reached its 40th day on Tuesday.
Two of the men had written a letter threatening to take legal action if the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) did not respond positively by noon on Tuesday to their demand to have access to the files of their cases.
The five went on hunger strike in the Ter Appel holding centre to protest at the way the IND handled their cases. Although they have been refused permission to stay in the Netherlands there seems little prospect at this stage that they can be returned to Iran.
The men argue they should be granted residence permits and they want to highlight that there is no clear procedures the IND must follow in such cases.
The five have been existing on water and sugar and 40 days is considered by doctors to be the point of no return, after which permanent damage is caused by the fasting.
A doctor with the GGD health centre, assigned to monitor the group, said on Monday that they are "more determined than ever to continue with their action". They are in a very bad way. "Some can only move around in a wheelchair. They can barely stand or walk," the doctor said.
Although the five have been separated and moved to different centres, they continue to have regular contact with each other.
Several organisations for asylum seekers have organised a demo outside parliament buildings in The Hague on Wednesday to draw attention to the plight of the hunger strikers.
The organisers expect about 200 people to gather in het Plein in The Hague at 1.30pm on Wednesday.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news