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UN intervention in Afghan hunger strike welcomed

17 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Daithí Doolan has this evening welcomed news that representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees are meeting with the Afghan hunger strikers currently protesting in St. Patricks Cathedral for asylum. The Dublin South East representative said he hoped the intervention of the UN would lead to a speedy resolution of the protest.

Mr. Doolan said, "This is a very welcome development in the ongoing protest at St Patricks Cathedral. Hopefully the intervention of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees will lead to a speedy and satisfactory resolution of the protest.

"At the core of this protest is the unacceptable and draconian manner in which asylum applications are processed in this state and the shameful failure of the state to introduce complementary protections for those individuals who fall outside the narrow Convention criteria for refugee status.

"No sane person can describe Afghanistan as a safe or democratic society. There is still conflict raging across larges parts of the country. This reality, and the fact that these men may be in grave danger should they be returned, needs to be taken in to account when dealing with their applications.

"I would urge to the UN Commissioner to take all these issues in to account during mediation which I hope will be successful."

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