hunger strike: testimony and press release

Sunday 8th April

A person from Iran is on his fourth day of hunger strike inside Calais’ immigration prison. Here is his testimony:

6th April 2012

Hello my dear friends and thank you for helping me.

I have been in French prison for 20 days. I am going to shorten my speech – I had many difficulties in Iran, that is why I escaped. Religious and political difficulties, I can’t write them all here. Actually you know about the problems in Iran. I shall tell you some of them; firstly, I could never say what was in my heart otherwise I would be oppressed, put in prison or even executed. I escaped from Iran to Europe to have a good and comfortable life and I wish to live peacefully. What a pity it’s not like that. There are the same spiritual and physical oppressions as in Iran, while they claim they are human rights defenders. Is this a human right? Do I have the right to live? If I do, why do they treat us like animals and put us in prison? All of this is lies. They just make speeches on TV but actually everything in this world is lies. All dreams, nothing more.

Now I shall tell you about the difficulties afflicted on me by this country. I have neither seen Hungary, my feet have never touched the soil of Hungary. Nor have I fingerprints or claimed asylum there. Why does Hungary want me? And why is France going to deport me to a country where I have no fingerprints – I have never even wanted to be in that country.

I am very angry about the Judge’s verdict and have stopped eating. I will not eat again until I am judged correctly. I will not eat even if I die. I write this to you dear friends so that you know everything that happened to me. Follow my situation, don’t forget me because the French police have threatened me with three years imprisonment unless I accept the deportation to Hungary.

Thank you dear friends. Until the day of absolutely freedom and correct justice – goodbye.


Day four of hunger strike for detainee in Coquelles Immigration Detention Centre, Calais

8th April 2012

On 4th April a person from Iran began a hunger strike, refusing any food, in Coquelles detention centre, Calais. He is facing deportation to Hungary – a country he has never been to – under the Dublin II regulation[1], and is refusing to eat until his release or death- he demands a fair trial.

His condition is deteriorating and until today he was also refusing to drink water. Whilst the nurse within the centre refuses to comment on the state of his health, visitors from the Calais Migrant Solidarity group say that he is pale, weak and dizzy.

Officers in Coquelles deny that the hunger strike is a political act but merely the behaviour of somebody crazy. They have also refused visitors to see him together with his English-speaking friend. This makes it difficult for him to express himself, therefore denying him of his freedom of expression and further oppressing him.

He has been in detention for 22 days and under French law can be held for up to 45 days without charge. He describes in a letter to those outside that detention in Coquelles is:

“..the same spiritual and physical oppression as in Iran, while they [the French government] claims they are human rights defenders, Is this human rights? Why do they treat us like animals and put us in prison?..”

The Hungarian authorities detain, almost without exception, every asylum seeker they receive, and can hold them for up to 12 months. They also detain those who have been deported back to Hungary under the Dublin II agreement. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee has reported self-harm and continuous cases of police violence within detention centers[2].

This hunger strike is not happening in isolation. People without papers across the world continue to refuse food in protest of their detention and repression. In Belgium, as of April 7th, 23 sans papiers have been on hunger strike for over 83 days[3]. Throughout history hunger strikes have been used as a successful form of protest highlighting repression and injustice.

Systematic suppression of people without papers is part of daily life in Europe. This person has fled from Iran for his life and has suffered in the detention centre in France; if deported to Hungary he will continue to live without freedom. As his hunger strike continues his health deteriorates. He wishes for people to ‘not forget’ him.

[1] Dublin II Regulation 2003
[2] Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Stuck in Jail: Immigration Detention in Hungary (2010), April 2011, available at: [accessed 7 April 2012]


Please send solidarity emails to the person on hunger strike to . Please include where you are from and anyother information you are happy for the person to know.

Contact organisations in Calais : The prefect.
The prefect is responsible for the final decision to grant asylum or deport sans papiers. Phone or fax to the prefect of Pas-de-Calais county, Denis Robin, to demand that he cancel the deportation :
Tel : 0033 (0)3 21 21 20 00
Fax: 0033 (0)3 21 55 30 30
Email :

Please circulate this information to your networks

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