In a desperate attempt to highlight and put pressure on the UK Governments border regime, several Iranian asylum seekers have been on hunger strike, some of them have sewed their lips shut. They have camped outside the Home Office in Croydon and the headquarters of Amnesty Int in London. They face deportation to Iran and possible torture, violence or execution on arrival. They fled due to their opposition to the Iranian regime during the 2009 demonstrations in Tehran. On arrival to the UK they claimed political asylum but had their cases turned down despite overwhelming evidence including physical evidence of torture.
The police took them to hospital where they refused to have their stitches taken out, one of them is only 17 years old, demonstrating for his right to remain in the UK. No Borders activists have visited them in London and are calling for support. They have a petition here. Their demonstration follows the death of another Iranian asylum seeker in Amsterdam, who set himself on fire on the 16th of April after his claim to stay failed.
A less well known hunger striker is Solomon Kumar Guntupalli, an Indian asylum-seeker. He is also camped out, in Parliament Square. He faces deportation to India after 6 years in a UK prison for possession of drugs, which he claims is untrue. This record would cause him further persecution in India.
Some media surrounding the hunger strikes: Youtube video of the Iranian hunger strikers.
Indymedia link to report and pictures can be found here.
These protests highlight the urgent need to abolish this regime that can so callously deport people back to violence and death, we must show our support to these brave men. Get angry, write something, go to London and visit them. Don’t let them get deported.