Asylum seekers vow to continue protests

ASYLUM seekers are committed to continuing a protest campaign demanding the speeding up of the asylum process and improvements to their living conditions, according to the leaders of a series of demonstrations held yesterday.

At five of the Department of Justice’s Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) centres, protests demanding reform of the asylum system were made.

The largest protest was held outside the Mosney centre in Co Meath where about 80 asylum seekers demonstrated. Smaller protests were held in Limerick, Carrick-on-Suir, Tramore and Galway. The protests coincided with an August 31 deadline set by the RIA for 109 Mosney residents to move to the Hatch Hall asylum hostel in Dublin.

However, organisers said the aim was to highlight wider problems such as overcrowding and how asylum seekers are prevented from working. Some asylum seekers have been in this position for eight years.

Mosney residents’ committee member Ivo Muma, from Cameroon, who has been in the system for seven years, said the protesters were committed to the campaign. He said the conditions were having a negative effect on the children and claimed a 6.30am roll call at the centre was “intimidation”. Organisers also said the protests were given extra urgency following the death of a male asylum seeker in Cork at the weekend.

The department said a refugee act, currently being drafted, will speed up the process, but it was satisfied at the system’s operation.


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