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Last Friday, on KISA’s request, to which the Ministry of Interior responded positively, a meeting was held at the office of the Director General of the Ministry regarding the issues concerning the stateless Kurds from Syria, who are protesting for over a month now outside the Ministry of Interior as a result of the non-examination of their asylum applications for more than 7 years – four of the protesters are on their 14th day of hunger strike. Present at the meeting were KISA’s Executive Director, the Director General of the Ministry of Interior, the Head of the Asylum Service, the Chairperson of the Refugee Reviewing Authority and other civil servants.

 At the meeting, the competent authorities acknowledged the need for the immediate examination of the asylum applications of this group of refugees and more particularly of those on hunger strike. Further, the authorities expressed their intention to examine sympathetically the request of the protesters to be granted recognized refugee status. In addition, they stated that they would complete the examination of the pending asylum claims – the Refugee Reviewing Authority by Tuesday (i.e. today) and the Asylum Service sometime this week.

KISA considers this development to be very important and would like to express its satisfaction for the response of the competent authorities. In view of today’s torrential rain, which flooded the tents of the protesters, soaked all their clothing, bedding and everything else in the tents, one of which was destroyed, and the emergency situation the protesters now find themselves in, KISA calls on:

The government to immediately complete the examination of the protesters’ asylum applications.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees to take on its monitoring role and assist the authorities to reach a fair decision in relation to granting recognised refugee status to the protesting persons, which is actually  its position regarding refugees from Syria.

Human rights organisations and society at large to express their solidarity to the protesters and help with:

blankets/ quilts, sheets, winter clothing (adult large sizes), a tent, and especially fruit juices – which is the only source of sustenance for the hunger strikers, as well as food for those of them not on hunger strike, one of whom suffers from diabetes and needs appropriate food. Please note that the food should contain no pork.

 If you cannot pass by the Ministry of Interior, where the protesters are, and you do wish to bring any of the above for the protesters, you can leave them at KISA’s premises (48 Arsinoe street, Old Nicosia, https://kisa.org.cy/contact/) and we will take them to the protesters.

Alternatively, if you wish, you may make a monetary donation (https://kisa.org.cy/donate/). In this case, please make sure you note that your donation is for the support of the protesting refugees.

Steering Committee

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