Cyprus: Kurdish refugee asylum campaign – successful day of international protests!

Cypriot Minister of Interior to meet with asylum seekers representative!

Kurdish refugee asylum campaign

International protests.

Reports and pictures from Sweden, Belgium, Germany, UK, Ireland, Greece and Pakistan

Successful day of international protests!

In the run up to the international day of action of last Friday, pressure on the Cypriot government has been on the increase. All this unwelcome international attention has led the Cypriot Minister of the Interior to contact the Cypriot-Kurdish Friendship Association. In fact, he personally called Doros Mihail, the chairman of this organisation and a member of the CWI, to arrange for a meeting to “discuss” the case of the nearly 100 Kurdish refugees. The Kurdish refugees concerned waged a heroic struggle last May for their asylum rights and are now due to be deported to Syria, where they will be persecuted and possibly killed. This step of the minister, however, clearly shows the solidarity campaign is having a strong impact on the Cypriot government. It also shows that asylum can be won for the Kurdish refugees!

The Cypriot section of the CWI reports that in the last couple of days before Friday, the Cypriot media had picked up the case of the Kurdish refugees and the protest lobbies that were about to take place in front of Cypriot embassies across the world. Confronted by journalists about the international day of protests, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said in a first reaction that these were organised by “marginal groups of Kurds who have nothing to do with the Kurdish people”! However, this slanderous and insulting comment did not cool down the media attention nor does it diminish the seriousness of the danger that threatens the Kurds. On the contrary on Thursday and Friday our comrades in Cyprus were interviewed by the Cypriot television channel “Sigma”. They also expect that media attention will continue to increase after the 10 November international lobbies.

The Cypriot government is clearly starting to feel that its treatment of refugees is making it unpopular in the eyes of increasingly broader layers in society and internationally. We must take this as a sign to step up the solidarity campaign: please write more protest letters and contact the CWI in your country to become actively involved in this campaign! Only through struggle can asylum be won for the Kurdish refugees and can they be kept out of the hands of their persecutors!

We publish reports from the lobbies that were held in front of Cypriot embassies in Sweden, Belgium, Germany, UK, Ireland, Greece and Pakistan.

Reports and pictures from Sweden, Belgium, Germany, UK, Ireland, Greece and Pakistan

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November 2006