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NGO common statement_11052015_GRE

The Ministry of Interior with an announcement released on Friday, 08/05/2015, continues its intransigent attitude towards the legitimate demands of the stateless Kurds from Syria (Ajanib), who are in protest outside the Ministry of Interior from October 2014 and on hunger strike form 27/04/2015, in order to claim their right to be granted the recognized refugee status. It is reminded that these people awaited for  the examination of their applications for asylum for more than seven years and that the Ministry finally decided, after their protest, to grant them the subsidiary protection status instead of the recognized refugee status.

In the press release, the MoI merely refers to the asylum procedures as provided in the law, without bothering to explain the reasons why these persons as stateless Kurds from Syria have not been considered by the competent authorities as eligible for the recognized refugee status. In addition, the letter states incorrectly that the issue of the stateless Kurds of Syria ended in 2011, when the members of this ethnic group were granted citizenship by the Syrian regime.

However, the MoI is aware of the reports both of the United Nations as well as of other international organizations, in which it is made known that the citizenship was granted only to Kurds from Syria living in the country in 2011. Also, that the approval procedures included the involvement of control agencies as to the beliefs and opinions of applicants about the regime.

We regret to note that the Ministry essentially insists on its initial decision fοr not granting the recognized refugee status to the strikers, despite the following:

  • Stateless Kurdish refugees from Syria are on protest outside the MoI for eight months and the risk to their health is now more imminent,
  • The UNHCR, with an opinion to the MoI, urges the competent authorities of the Republic of Cyprus to grant the recognized refugee status to the strikers.
  • The other EU member states follow the practice of granting the recognized refugee status to the stateless Kurds from Syria.
  • The President of the House of Representatives and the Chair of the Parliamentary Interior Committee support the hunger strikers and have urged the competent authorities to grant them the recognized refugee status.
  • All Civil Society organisations active in the area of asylum have released a joint statement declaring solidarity with the stateless refugees and they also call on the Minister to respond to the legitimate demands of the strikers.

The NGOs supporting the hunger strikers have convinced the strikers to postpone the thirst strike scheduled to start on 10.05.2015 until next Monday, 18/05/2015, in order to exhaust all other means before proceeding to this last-resort measure that sets their health at incalculable risk.

In view of the above and in solidarity with the hunger strikers refugees, we call for a protest outside the Ministry of Interior on Thursday, 05/04/.2015 at 14:00. After the delivery of the joint statement to the Minister of Interior, we will march to the House of Representatives, where the event for solidarity with the hunger strikers will begin at 15:00.

– KISA

– Future Worlds Center

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