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Greece: Iranian refugees on hunger strike

Categories: Western Europe, Greece, Iran, Human Rights, Refugees

[1]Twenty-five Iranian refugees in Athens, Greece have gone on hunger strike [2] since October 14 demanding that Greek authorities process their political asylum applications. Some have had their mouths sewn shut.

A statement by the Iranian campaign group said they had been protesting peacefully at the Propylaia [3] of Athens for more than 44 days with no response when they decided to begin the hunger strike [4]. They say they have been threatened by the local authorities who want them to stop their public protest.

According to an article on Antiracismfacism.org, Petros Konstantinou, an anti-capitalist mayoral candidate also reported seeing Iranian embassy employees trying to harass the protesters and take pictures [1] [Gr].

The refugees and their supporters have used YouTube to broadcast their message. There has been almost no media coverage in Greek mainstream media about the hunger strike, but local activists groups and online media have been showing support (the poster above is for a solidarity concert).

Greek municipal police attacks hunger strikers

This video from October 17 shows aggressive behavior against the Iranians by the Greek municipal police.

One refugee was sent to the hospital

One of refugees, Masoud Faramarzi, was transported to the hospital after his health deteriorated after days of hunger strike. On the tent we can read anti-Iranian regime slogans such as “Down with Khamenei” (Iran's supreme leader). The video is from October 16.

This video from the hunger strike was uploaded on October 18.

In July, a previous group of six Iranian hunger strikers demonstrated in front of The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) offices in Athens, including one who had his mouth sewn shut.

Asteris Masouras [5]contributed to this post.