Picket outside the Ukrainian embassy in London
Monday 6 February 1.45 for 2:00pm
60 Holland Park London W11 3SJ,
Release Somali hunger strikers from Lutsk Detention Centre!
On hunger strike for a month.
For one month since 6th January, 58 Somali refugees, amongst them 11 women and 24 minors have been on hunger strike in Lutsk detention centre in Ukraine.
What do they want?
The hunger strikers seek release from detention, an end to extortion and persecution by police. They want refugee status or 'humanitarian protection' for Somalian asylum seekers who cannot return to Somalia because of the war. They want all asylum seekers to have residence documents so they cannot be arrested by police. They seek an end to arbitrary detention of asylum seekers in Ukraine.
Riot police attack hunger strikers in detention centre
On Monday, they were attacked by riot police who threatened and beat them in order to force them to eat. The police were armed.
Arbitrary detention by the Ukrainian police
In Ukraine, asylum seekers can be detained for 12 months for no reason. And they can be re-detained immediately after release for no reason. Men and women, whole families including women, pregnant or with children and unaccompanied minors are all detained indiscriminately. The police offer to release them if they are paid bribes.
No asylum for Somalians in Ukraine
Access to the asylum procedure is a lottery. The asylum system is in chaos. Recognition rates for Somalians is zero. For other nationalities it is very low - between zero and three percent. It is very difficult for asylum seekers to get a lawyer.
International organisations criticise Ukrainian asylum procedure
The UNHCR, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch all say that Ukraine is not a safe country for refugees.
Conditions in detention.
Detainees report bad food, lack of medical care (several suffer from skin and some kidney diseases) and a total lack of any educational or other activities in detention. Some are showing signs of mental problems due to prolonged and repeated detention.
What is needed now
So far UNHCR, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Pro Asyl/Germany, Helsinki Committee/Hungary, Ukrainian Refugee Council and some MEPs have intervened with little success so far. So further action is urgently needed. International solidarity will make a real difference! Show the Ukrainian Government that we know what they are doing.
We call for a picket outside the Ukrainian embassy in London on Monday 6th February 1.45 for 2:00pm.
There will protests in Berlin and Munich.
We call those who cannot attend the demonstration to send protest email/faxes to the Ukrainian Government. See http://bordermonitoring-ukraine.eu/storage/faxemail-campaign/
ADDRESS: 60, Holland Park, London W11 3SJ TELEPHONE: (4420) 7727 6312 FAX: (4420) 7792 1708
The Committee to Support the Somalian Hunger Strikers in Lutsk Detention Centre.