Following the tragic suicide of Iranian asylum seeker Mohammad Rahsepar in protest to the abysmal situation of asylum seekers in Wurtzburg, Germany, a group of Iranian asylum seekers, supported by the International Federation of Iranian Refugees, have organised a sit-in since 19 March to bring attention to the plight of asylum seekers in the country. They have been met with huge amounts of support, including the 99% movement joining them in their protest.
That someone who has fled Iran in order to save his life ends up killing himself is testimony enough to the situation faced by innumerable asylum seekers worldwide. The asylum process so dehumanises and criminalises people that it leaves but merely a shell of the previous person at the end of the road. That people can still resist and stand tall is testimony to the human spirit and dignity.
I was involved in refugee work for nearly 20 years but had to stop when I burned out after witnessing untold atrocities against people whose only crime was to dream of another and better life for themselves and their loved ones.
Clearly suicide is not the answer but organised and positive protest is. That is what the brave asylum seekers are doing in Wurtzburg and nothing must stop us from supporting them.
Asylum is a basic right even if every government from Germany to Britain needs reminding of it.
Here’s a video of the protest:
You can leave messages of support below and I will make sure that it reaches them.
(Photo of Hassan Husseinzadeh via Mina Ahadi; video link via Shahnaz Moratab)