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Author Topic:   Iranian asylum seeker kills himself in the UK after receiving rejection
Vatandoost
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posted January 22, 2001 11:36     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On January 18, 2001, the body of Ramin Khaleghi, a 27-year-old Iranian, was discovered in the so-called 'International Hotel', a hostel housing asylum seekers in Leicester. Ramin had been a political prisoner in Iran for a number of years, before managing to flee to Britain. Yet the Home Office rejected his claim for asylum, despite, we understand, medical evidence of torture at the hands of the Iranian police. One week after learning of his rejection, Ramin took his own life.

Ramin's death comes at a time when claims for asylum from Iranian refugees are getting less and less of a hearing from the UK authorities, despite widespread acceptance of the oppressive nature of the Iranian regime. Since January 18, other asylum seekers at the 'International Hotel' in Leicester have been camped out in the hostel's lobby area in
protest at the death of their friend. Residents have for several months been complaining of conditions in the hostel, a run-down former hotel in the city centre currently housing around 400 asylum seekers. There are severe problems of hygiene, inadequate heating, poor food. Residents also face problems of hostility from some sections of the local population. Since June 2000, doctor's surgeries in Leicester have refused to register any more refugee patients.

In September 2000, CARF and the National Civil Rights Movement established a local group in Leicester - the Leicester Civil Rights Movement (LCRM) - to provide support and campaign for refugees and victims of racist attacks in Leicester. LCRM are campaigning for justice for the refugees housed at the 'International Hotel' so that the tragic death of Ramin Khaleghi will not be repeated.

"Sometimes you get so frustrated when your life is in other peoples' hands. You fear for your life back home in Iran but when you get here you live in fear too. When you get an answer from the Home Office it is likely to be a refusal. Hopelessness can easily trigger suicide. All of us can identify with Ramin, all in the same situation." Iranian refugee,
Leicester

"This tragic death appears to be a direct result of the Home Office practice of wilful and callous rejection of asylum claims from Iranians, no matter how clear, strong and compelling they are." Frances Webber, leading immigration barrister

"The Home Office refusal of Ramin's claim was the final straw that led to his decision to take his own life, rather than be subjected to more of the same barbaric treatment in Iran. Effectively the refusal of asylum
has become a death sentence for asylum seekers. We would like to ask Barbara Roche and Jack Straw if this is the price for the prevention of 'bogus' asylum claims?" Priya Thamotheram, Leicester Civil Rights Movement

"After enduring all kinds of mistreatment, imprisonment and torture in oppressive societies, asylum seekers like Ramin are left with no option but to flee to Europe. Upon arrival, they are further abused, detained,
housed in degrading conditions, deprived by a voucher system and eventually deported." Maryam Namazie, International Federation of Iranian Refugees

For further information please contact Arun Kundnani on 07957 240755,
Suresh Grover on 07801 331165, Maryam Namazie on 07730 107337 or Priya
Thamotheram on 0116 253 1053

Campaign Against Racism & Fascism
BM Box 8784
London WC1N 3XX
Tel 020-7837 1450
Fax 0870-052 5899 www.carf.demon.co.uk

National Civil Rights Movement
c/o 14 Featherstone Road, Southall, Middx. UB2 5AA
Tel 020-8574 0818
Fax 020-8813 9734 www.ncrm.org.uk

Maryam Namazie
International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR)
PO Box 27236, London N11, England
Tel: +44 7730 107 337
Fax: +44 870 129 4167
E-mail: ifir@ukonline.co.uk
Web Site: www.hambastegi.org

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