The 14 strikers who are detained in the Detention Center of Undocumented Migrants in Menoyia are already on the 16th day of hunger strike, demanding their immediate release. Yesterday, 23rd September, the strikers escalated their protest by refusing to return to their cells. They remain in the courtyard of the detention center as a means of protest since their request for a visit by a representative of the Minister of Interior or from an officer from the Civil Registry and Migration Department, has found no response. The protesting detainees, with a joint letter, state that they are willing to return to their cells only when their main demand will be accepted.
It is pointed out that in Menoyia various groups of people such as asylum seekers, EU citizens and people who are family members of Cypriot or European citizens are still detained illegally.
Following on from these developments, KISA – Action for Equality, Support and Antiracism requests:
- That the Minister of Interior or the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry visit the hunger strikers in Menogeiia. If this is not feasible, a representative of the Minister should be appointed to carry out the visit.
- That the Minister of Interior calls a meeting of the relevant stakeholders, including NGOs, to discuss the scope for improvement in the way the Return Directive in being implemented. The aim is that the policy to be followed should comply fully with the spirit of the Directive, thus avoiding the detention of persons for whom there is no immediate prospect of deportaion, and at the same time to reduce the thoughtless and illegal detention of persons that is occurring today.
- The immediate release of all asylum seekers detained in contravention of the rules in the Detention Center in Menoyia, as well as the release of detainees who are family members of Cypriot or European citizens.
- The immediate release of all detainees who have families in Cyprus, of persons who have been in the country for a period exceeding five years as well as of the detainees for whom there is no prospect of their immediate deportation from the Republic.
- The immediate release of persons who are parents of minors, whose detention results in the rights of their children being violated.