Eighth hunger striker hospitalised with dehydration

Another of the Afghan asylum seekers on hunger strike at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin has been hospitalised with dehydration overnight.

Another of the Afghan asylum seekers on hunger strike at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin has been hospitalised with dehydration overnight.

The man is the eighth of the 41 protestors to be hospitalised since the hunger strike began on Sunday afternoon.

Five of the seven others have returned to the cathedral after receiving medical treatment, but the other two, including one who is said to be in a serious condition, remain in hospital this morning.

Most of them began taking water yesterday and all are being medically examined on a daily basis.

The men entered the cathedral on Sunday and said they would starve themselves to death if they were not allowed to remain in Ireland.

They say they are at risk of torture and death in Afghanistan and fear they will be deported due to their treatment by the Irish authorities.

Yesterday, representatives of the group met immigration officials, but the talks failed to make any progress.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, also rejected the men's demand for asylum, saying capitulation by the Government would lead to similar actions in the future.

The cathedral authorities say they have been in contact with officials from the Department of Justice and are urging them to meet the men today in a fresh attempt to end the hunger strike.

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