ga('send', 'pageview');


10 June 2014


To: Mr Laurens Jolles, UNHCR Representative for Southern Europe

Dear Sir,

First of all we would like to thank you for the prompt response and your letter dated 4 June 2014. The content of your letter has sparked our hopes that the Government of Cyprus would have made second thoughts and grant to us the Cypriot citizenship, so that we can continue our lives in safety and dignity.

Unfortunately, the responses we’ve received at 5 June 2014, with the exception of the child of one of us, are all negative so we are driven back in a deadlock and in despair.  Indeed, the fact that the rejection of our application has been linked by the Government to the “sovereignty” of the country, makes us feel completely unfairly treated. From the moment that the Government considers the granting of citizenship to refugees linked to the crucial concept of State sovereignty, granting it as it thinks fit, the chances of access to this right are dismissed entirely.

As individuals, which have been systematically prosecuted in the past by invoking the “sovereignty” of the occupation forces of our countries, we never imagined that we would experience renewed a violation, this time with by invoking the “sovereignty” of the country which has undertaken to protect us again. As we are also actively politicized persons, we know very well the importance and consequently the non- negotiable of matters connected/related to state sovereignty.

After we had received the rejection letters from the Government of Cyprus, we requested the help of the NGO KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Anti-racism to legally evaluate the decisions and the possibilities of effective redress/ remedies which we could pursue (which we hereby attach). [1]  Unfortunately, the view we have taken from an expert legal counsel is very daunting and does not give many chances of being able to change in any way the decisions of the Government, as in essence we do not have an effective remedy in our disposal.

Also, we understand and we fully share the very serious problems that other refugees, friends, compatriots, our fighters and relatives are facing in countries outside the European Union, under very difficult circumstances, but we cannot accept in any way that this situation can lead us to accept also the very hard realities that we are faced with, with the argument that they are in a worse situation than we are.

Under the above circumstances, we believe that the only effective and efficient option is that of relocation or resettlement with your assistance to another country where we can live in dignity and respect of our rights.

Finally, we would like not only strongly to emphasize the hopeless situation in which we are at but also our absolute conviction that we cannot tolerate it anymore and that’s why it is our decision, by next Monday, June 16, 2014 to stop taking not only food but also water, so that one way or another to put an end to this intolerable situation.

We place the hopes and our lives in your hands and we hope that you will be able to respond positively and promptly to our justified request.

With appreciation

Muhammad Altaf

Asadollah Parahimehr

Mehrangiz Hematmand



–        Mr Socrates Hasikos, Minister of Interior

–        Mr Damtew Dessalegne, UNHCR Representative in the Republic of Cyprus


[1] 10/06/2014 – Legal opinion on naturalisation of refugees in Cyprus and available remedies 2014.06.10_Legal_Opinion_Refugees_Naturalisation_Available_Remedies


Subscribe To Kisa Newsletter

Subscribe To Kisa Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. KISA's activity is focused on the fields of Migration, Asylum, Racism, and Trafficking, as well as raising awareness in Cypriot society.

You have Successfully Subscribed!