An asylum seeker in Cork is on hunger strike to attempt to remain in Ireland 1 month ago

An asylum seeker in Cork is on hunger strike to attempt to remain in Ireland

He is currently on day six of his hunger strike.

An asylum seeker based in Cork says his "life is in danger" as he takes part in a hunger strike with the aim of staying in Ireland and avoiding being deported to India.

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Nadim Hussain came to Ireland from India after his parents were killed during a conflict in March of 2018. He applied for refugee status in Ireland and was placed in the Direct Provision system while awaiting approval.

Hussain was then informed that he was not eligible for refugee status from the government, and is yet to receive permission to remain in Ireland.

In an interview with JOE, Hussain spoke about how he feels his efforts have yet to be recognised by the government.

Hussain received an email - seen by JOE - from the office of the Taoiseach on 22 September saying that "the Taoiseach is pursuing the issue on (Mr. Hussain's) behalf with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service".

Since then, Hussain has yet to receive another update from the Taoiseach's office or the Department of Justice.

He began his hunger strike last Thursday, and his condition has rapidly deteriorated since. His progress has been documented in photos posted to his Twitter account.

His GP has informed him that his kidneys have started to fail and his condition could be fatal if he continues the strike for another three days.

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When asked why he chose hunger striking as a form of protest, he said that he was inspired by the Irish hunger strikers and their "strike for freedom" and that this strike "is for [his] freedom".

He spoke very highly of the public response to his campaign, saying: "Irish people are really good. Really kind hearted. They have given me food. They have given everything".

He encouraged those in government to read the messages of support that people have sent in response to his progress pictures each day.

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He is requesting a response from the Minister for Justice, and to receive permission to stay in the country, and to "give [him] an answer before it's too late".

In an email sent to JOE, the Department of Justice shared this statement;

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While the Department does not comment on individual immigration cases, each application for international protection is examined in detail on its individual merits, taking all factors into account. The permission to remain process includes a full consideration of their private and family rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights as well as consideration of their work situation, among other issues.

For those who are in the international protection process, our objective is to have decisions made on their applications and permission to remain considerations as soon as possible. This ensures that those who are found to be in need of our protection can receive it quickly and begin rebuilding their lives here with a sense of safety and security. For those found not to be in need of international protection, a full consideration of all aspects of their case, under the process outlined above, is considered before a Deportation Order is made.

A negative decision on an appeal by the independent International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) is not the final stage in the international protection process. In these circumstances, an applicant will have their Permission to Remain consideration reviewed by the International Protection Office.

This represents a fifth opportunity for the applicant to put forward their case to be allowed to remain in the State, having already been considered for a grant of refugee status, subsidiary protection, permission to remain and the appeal to the IPAT.

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All appellants who come before the independent International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) have their appeals assessed on an individual, objective and impartial basis. This is based on precise and up-to-date information from various sources, such as the UNHCR, as to the general situation prevailing in the country of origin of the appellant concerned, including such information contained in submissions made by them or on their behalf.

The principle of non-refoulement applies to decisions made on international protection applications. Under international human rights law, the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.