Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Minister must intervene in Afghan protest

15 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor, Daithi Doolan has called on the Minister for Justice to immediately intervene to find a resolution to the Hunger and Thirst strike by Afghans in St. Patrick's Cathedral who are seeking refugee status.

Cllr Doolan, who is at the protest has said, "the addition of thirst strike to the hunger strike is a very seriously development that demands immediate attention. Already one person is suffering kidney problems as a result. I am appealing to the Minster to intervene immediately to bring this crisis in St. Patrick's Cathedral to an end. The Minister and his department need to enter in to discussions directly with the protesters.

"Even on a cursory look at the situation in Afghanistan, from this remove, it is plain to see that it is not a functioning democratic society. There is a puppet regime in place that has no control over the vast bulk of the country, with the result that violence and terror are an everyday reality for much of the population.

"Minister McDowell claims that the protesters have been through due process. That may be the case but it is a widely held view that the process itself is seriously flawed and in need of a radical overhaul. The cases of these protesters needs to be looked at again. The criteria upon which the original decisions were made need to be expanded. This state also needs to implement the EU directive, which instructs member states to provide complementary protections to individuals who fall outside the strict legal definitions of what constitutes a person as a refugee.

"As a government TD representing the area where this protest is taking place Michael McDowell has a duty to meet with them. He should do so immediately." ENDS

Members of Sinn Féin will be joining the protest scheduled for 12.30pm tomorrow afternoon.

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