Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Iranian Refugees Sew Their Mouths Shut: ‘I Cannot Go Back. I Will Be Hanged.’

A migrant sits in no-man's land with his mouth sewn shut during a protest near the village of Idomeni at the Greek-Macedonian border, on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. Several European countries, including EU members Slovenia and Croatia and non-members Serbia and Macedonia, have declared they will only allow "war-zone refugees" from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to transit through their countries on their way to central and northern Europe. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

NOV 23, 2015 4:03PM

At least six Iranian refugees sewed their mouths shut at the Greek-Macedonian border to pressure authorities to let them pass into Macedonia on their way to western Europe, according to Reuters
The group of refugees had been at the border for four days, stranded after European officials tightened border policies in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris, France. 
They are among hundreds of people from Iran, Morocco, Pakistan and Bangladesh who were barred entry after Slovenia and other European countries stated they would only grant access to people fleeing violence from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. People from other countries were considered “economic migrants,” and therefore would not be allowed passage. Between Sunday and Monday, about 2,900 people crossed into Macedonia — down from 6,000 the previous day. 
One Iranian refugee went on a hunger strike and told Reuters that he sewed his mouth shut because “I cannot go back. I will be hanged.” He added that he wanted to go “to any free country in the world.” 
Other refugees and asylum seekers have taken similar extreme measures to indicate that they cannot return to their countries of origin because of fear of death or persecution. Last February, for instance, more than a dozen people arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa also sewed their mouths shut with fishing wire and a sewing needle, claiming that they were put in deplorable conditions in immigrant detention centers without any word on the progress of their asylum applications. 
And even here in the United States, people who don’t want to be removed back to their countries have risked their own lives to show that they can’t be sent back. One Bangladeshi immigrant told ThinkProgress that he had gone on a hunger strike because returning to Bangladesh where he’s a member of the opposition party could result in his imprisonment or even worse, death. “I knew if I go back, I’m going to lose my life so I decided with other detainees that if we die, we’ll die here without eating,” the former detainee said. 
Iranian Refugees removed their shirt and sew their mouth and they are on hunger strike at the border between Macedonia and Greek ………They were prevented from entering into EU countries …...
UNHCR must help Iranian refugees to settle in a third country . Most of these Iranian refugees are political refugees but unable to present their case. Most of Iranian refugees falls in the political refugees categories and not the economic refugees……….

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