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Ireland Calling - Hunger Strikers Need Your Support
National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
8 Algerian and Nigerian asylum-seekers are refusing food in Mountjoy prison
Free the Mountjoy Eight! Stop - Stop Criminalising Asylum Seekers!
6.30pm, Wednesday March 20th 2002
North Circular Road
If you can't be there, join the international fax protest, (model letter at end of message).
Residents Against Racism (RAR) are urging activists to join an international day of protest in support of the Mountjoy 8, Algerian and Nigerian asylum-seekers who are refusing food in Mountjoy prison Ireland.
The Mountjoy Eight have been on hunger (and thirst) strike over the past week, and are being held in the main prison wing, although they should be held in the training unit as they are only being held until deportations are implemented.
Two of the men are Algerian, and the six are Nigerian. Of the eight, three have Irish-born children who are Irish nationals.
We would ask that international activists fax the Irish 'Department of Justice' on Tuesday and Wednesday (March 19th and 20th 2002), with a model letter [details of a model letter are provided below].
Although details of the health conditions of asylum-seekers are sketchy, RAR have contact with Alabi Ayende who was the first of the asylum-seekers to go on hunger-strike.RAR advised the men to accept fluids because of the possibilities that a thirst strike would bring on medical intervention.
Residents Against Racism will also be holding a picket outside the Four Courts at 2 p.m on the same day. This is the site of an important test case where the government is trying to deport asylum-seekers who are parents of Irish-born citizens. If the government proves successful in this case, it could pave the way for a flood of deportations of parents of Irish children.
Messages of solidarity can be emailed to be read out at the protest: firstname.lastname@example.org
Model letter To John O' Donoghue, Minister For Justice, copy, amend, write your own.
Fax no: 00-3531-661-5461
Minister for Justice
John O' Donoghue
72-76 St Stephen's Green
Dear Mr. O' Donoghue,
You are no doubt aware of the case of 8 asylum seekers, currently on hunger-strike in the main wing of Mountjoy prison. The eight men have variously been on hunger/thirst strike since March 11th, 2002. According to the governor, two of the men are now in the medical wing where their lives are showing cause for concern. The rest of them are being monitored on a daily basis by medical staff. Alabi Ayende, the first of the Nigerians to go on hunger-strike, has told Residents Against Racism, that he is prepared to die in an Irish prison rather than be separated from his wife and Irish-born child.
I believe that this hunger-strike can be directly attributed to the criminalisation of asylum-seekers under your Department's regime. These men have been forced to take this action because your Government chooses to house them in the main prison unit in Mountjoy, without any of the privileges afforded to innocent and vulnerable deportees.
No doubt you are also aware of the fact that three of the men have Irish-born children and as such, should not be up for deportation as they are parents to Irish-born children, who are Irish citizens. The rights of parents of Irish citizens are, of course, laid down under the Irish constitution. Given that it requires a constitutional referendum to change this fact, you should not be trying to deport these men.
I would demand that you take urgent action to ensure that the hunger-strike is ended peacefully and with the dignity and health of the Mountjoy 8 intact. The hunger-strikers are demanding that they be moved to the training unit and given privileges and rights afforded innocent human beings.
Second, I would ask that the deportation orders be revoked as these men all come from Nigeria and Algeria, countries with appalling human rights records that are internationally documented.
Thirdly, I would respectfully demand that you take ownership of the asylum issue in Ireland and your responsibilities under the UN Charter of Human Rights.
Make Orphans out of Alabi's Children!
Don't let Alabi and his fellow Hunger-Strikers Die!
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