Asylum seeker's hunger strike for permission to remain reaches third day

Permission to remain can be granted to people who have been refused a refuge or subsidiary protection declaration but who are not returned home for humanitarian or other compelling reasons
Asylum seeker's hunger strike for permission to remain reaches third day

Nadim Hussain said he fears for his life if he was to be deported to his home country of India. He said that both of his parents were killed in riots before he came here in 2018.

An asylum seeker's hunger strike campaign to achieve permission to remain status in Ireland has reached its third day. 

Nadim Hussain, who currently lives in Direct Provision in Cork, is pleading to be granted permission to remain in Ireland. Mr Hussain has been living in Cork for three years. 

Last month, he received a letter from the International Protection Appeal Tribunal (IPAT) which affirmed a recommendation of the international protection officer which stated that he should be refused a declaration as a refugee along with subsidiary protection status. 

Following on from the letter, he is pleading to be granted leave to remain in Ireland.

Mr Hussain said he received the decision from IPAT in a few weeks but is still awaiting a decision in regard to permission to remain in the country.

“Why are they not giving me my answer for leave to remain?” he asked.

Mr Hussain said he fears for his life if he was to be deported to his home country of India. He said that both of his parents were killed in riots in West Bengal before he came to Ireland in 2018.

“That’s the reason I am protesting and begging and pleading,” he said.

“I want leave to remain. I don’t want to go to my country.” 

His hunger strike campaign follows a protest outside Leinster House on Thursday earlier this week. 

Along with the support of other asylum seekers, he protested outside Leinster House and vowed to commence his hunger strike.

According to figures obtained by Nasc following a Parliamentary Question from Thomas Gould TD earlier this year, the median processing times for applications processed to completion at the International Protection Office in Quarter one, 2021, was 16.1 months for prioritised cases. 

For non-prioritised cases, it was 24 months.

The median waiting time for decisions through IPAT as of 30 June, 2021, was 10 months. Up to the same date, there were over 1,600 appeals pending.

Speaking on the asylum seeking process in Ireland, a spokesperson for Nasc said the timeline for a decision for those seeking leave to remain can vary. With leave to remain, a “host of factors” are considered, and it can be difficult to “pin down” why individuals are granted leave to remain.

Permission to remain can be granted to people who have been refused a refuge or subsidiary protection declaration but who are not returned home for humanitarian or other compelling reasons.

While the Department of Justice does not comment on individual immigration cases, it said that each application for international protection is examined in detail on its individual merits, taking all factors into account.

According to the Department, the permission to remain process includes a full consideration of their private and family rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights as well as consideration of their work situation, among other issues.

“For those who are in the international protection process, our objective is to have decisions made on their applications and permission to remain considerations as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.

Nadim Hussain currently lives in Direct Provision in Cork.
Nadim Hussain currently lives in Direct Provision in Cork.

“This ensures that those who are found to be in need of our protection can receive it quickly and begin rebuilding their lives here with a sense of safety and security.” For those found not to be in need of international protection, a full consideration of all aspects of their case is considered before a Deportation Order is made.

All appellants who come before the independent IPAT have their appeals assessed “on an individual, objective and impartial basis”. This is based on “precise and up-to-date information” as to the general situation prevailing in the country of origin of the appellant including such information contained in submissions made by them or on their behalf.

Under international human rights law, the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.

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