Monday, April 25, 2011

'I would rather die here than go back to Iran and be killed': Iranian asylum seekers sew their mouths together and go on hunger strike in deportation

In a desperate attempt to have their asylum claims accepted by the UK government, four Iranians have sewn their mouths shut with fishing wire and gone on hunger strike with two others.

The men have not eaten for 20 days and have set up a makeshift camp outside the Lunar House immigration centre in Croydon, south London.

The British government is planning on sending them back to Tehran, but the men claim that their lives would be in danger if that happened, as they all took part in protests against the Iranian regime in 2009 and were beaten, tortured and even raped as a result.

Mahyar Meyari, who is 17, explained how he was arrested and given brutal treatment after taking part in a demonstration.

‘I was blindfolded and taken to an unknown place where I was kept for a week,’ he told The Guardian.’ I was hit on the head by batons many times … and even raped. I prefer to die here than going back to Iran.’

Another protester, Keyvan Bahari, 32, says he feels their actions are a last resort to make the UK authorities take notice of their plight.

He told the paper: ‘We have sewn our mouths because there is no other way. Nobody in the UK hears us or cares what we say so we have no other option but to do this.’ Read More