Deportation threat against Iranian hunger striker lifted

A threat of deportation against an Iranian man who has been on hunger strike for 35 days has been lifted, Government sources have said.

The apparent breakthrough in the case occured last night as more than 100 people took part in a candlelit vigil outside Globe House, the direct provision centre in Sligo where Amjad Rosstami, 44, is staying.

Sources close to the Department of Justice said that the threat of deportation had been lifted , and Mr Rosstami, who came to Ireland from Britain, was now free to apply for asylum in this country . He had feared that, if sent back to the UK, he would be deported to Iran.

Mr Rosstami’s condition deteriorated rapidly since the weekend, when he stopped taking liquids, and fears for his safety were growing.

Last night, supporters said Mr Rosstami would not call off the hunger strike until he gets confirmation in writing that the threat of deportation has been lifted. Department officials were due to make contact with him last night.

“This man has children. He is on hunger strike as a last resort,” said Tara Baoth Mooney, who was part of the vigil at Globe House.

Earlier, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald was urged to review the case.

Campaigners for Mr Rosstami say he has been on hunger strike for more than 35 days, since “he received a deportation order from the Minister for Justice last month”.

“This deportation order almost certainly [will] see him returned to Iran, where he is convinced that he will be killed, as well as endangering his family. As a result, he has said that he would rather die here in Ireland than be killed in Iran,” a petition by campaigners claims.

The Department of Justice said Mr Rosstami is in receipt of legal and medical assistance.

“The Department of Justice and Equality, staff at Globe House, medical professionals, legal professionals, and other on-the-ground service providers linked with Globe House have provided a series of medical and legal supports and assistance to the resident of Globe House in view of their concern for the person’s health and wellbeing,” a statement from the department read.


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