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Iranian refugees sew up mouths in protest

The Local · 7 Jun 2012, 16:25

Published: 07 Jun 2012 16:25 GMT+02:00

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"They are only drinking through a straw," said Soheil Hatamikia who helped organise a demonstration in the southern town of Würzburg where the protestors are sleeping in a tent.

Ten Iranian asylum-seekers have participated in the protest since March. They say they are persecuted in their own country but are unhappy at the conditions in the German state of Bavaria. So far, five of them have been granted political asylum.

"The German government should know it cannot stop our protest by means of silence and passiveness," said the group on a blog established to support the protest.

The protesters criticise regulations obliging asylum-seekers to stay in shared lodgings and want a law forcing them to have a fixed abode abolished. They also want the right to work while waiting for their applications to be processed.

While the federal office for migration and refugees has, according the daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, supported the improvement of living conditions offered to asylum-seekers, it has deemed the latest development in the protest counterproductive.

A spokesman for the council told the paper that he would understand if politicians “felt emotionally blackmailed” by the protest tactic. He added that big changes take time and by putting so much pressure on people could reduce sympathy.

"If the government does not respond positively to our demands and does not make changes to the inhumane laws on asylum-seekers, then it will find that other asylum-seekers will join our action and sew up their lips," the group added.

In 2011, more than 53,300 people claimed asylum in Germany. Since the beginning of 2012, the countries of origin with most asylum-seekers have been Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia and Iran.

Story continues below…

AFP/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:31 June 7, 2012 by Craptastic
Can someone fill in some details for me? What is inhumane about having to live in a fixed lodging when you are ASKING PERMISSION to be in a country where you have no right to live? What is inhumane about not being allowed to work until you have proper permission? Last I checked, Germany did that to all foreigners. Are there great chunks of the story missing such as the lodgings are rat infested, huts?
17:36 June 7, 2012 by Englishted
I'll say it first if you don't like it don't come.

Also as far as I know the first country you arrive in is "normally "the first country you ask for asylum ,so how did they end up in Germany?
18:06 June 7, 2012 by doc holiday
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:21 June 7, 2012 by catjones
Like the other comments, I like to base my conclusions on as few facts as possible which is why I read the Local in the first place. Back in 1963 they headlined, "Kennedy protects Lincoln with his head".
19:38 June 7, 2012 by Bavaria Mike
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:47 June 7, 2012 by bramblebush
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:32 June 7, 2012 by puisoh
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
23:37 June 7, 2012 by Mingus
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:33 June 8, 2012 by Basitt

I am not German, but what I read in the article is too stupid.

Ofcourse if you so want to leave your country and live in another country, then you should accept all laws of that country.

Moreover I guess Germany allows migrants only that they have much paper work, which in sense is better thing. What do you expect from them? A big separate house? and a running business? Com'on man... :D

I wonder how they eat now :S :/
13:51 June 8, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Ouuuuuuuuuuuuur lips are ssssseeeeeeeeeeled...
15:53 June 8, 2012 by bartschaff
Why such love for chanting "Love it as it is or leave." all the time?

Those refugees aren't trying to break the law, they are just democratically protesting to try to get it changed. What's the problem with it?

From the little information given, the current conditions indeed don't seem that bad, but they have the right to disagree and their actions only show they do appreciate being in a democracy.
21:52 June 8, 2012 by raandy
No problem at all, unless they need more thread or needles.
15:09 June 9, 2012 by yourkeau
Germany has signed Vienna convention on refugees and MUST respect it. 70 years ago there were refugees FROM Germany, one of the most notable one was Albert Einstein.

Did US authorities treated him with respect? Yes. Did they allow him to work in his new country? Yes. Did the US benefit from having Albert Einstein as a refugee on its' territory? Yes.

So should do Germany: give the refugees a chance to live and work for their country. And one day a new Iranian Einstein will pay back.
19:59 June 9, 2012 by Global Citizen
Iranian immigrants have already contributed immensely to the German society and economy. Just a couple of months ago two Hanover based doctors invented a medical treatment which will avoid amputation of diabetic patients. That invention alone has saved the limbs of hundreds of Germans so far.

Diversity is mother of innovation. Germany has done a relatively poor job in utilizing the full potential of highly skilled immigrants. But knowing Germans and trusting them I'm sure this will happen sooner rather than later.

Last but not least quiet disappointed by the low level of intelligence of some of the comments posted above,.........and..... bearing in mind that empathy is human value.
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