Churches appeal to government over Kurdish hunger strikers

 Rev Arlington Trotman, Commission Secretary of the Churches, Commission for Racial Justice (a commission of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland) has expressed grave concern about the condition of the three Iranian Kurds on hunger strike in Scotland. Fariborz Gravindi, Mokhtar Haydary and Faroq Haidari have been on hunger strike since Thursday 19 February. They have sewn up their mouths to draw attention to the refusal of their appeals for refugee status. Their condition is now critical. Mr Trotman said: "While the Churches do not condone the practice of hunger strikes, we understand the desperation of these men, following the failure of their asylum appeal, which has led them to these extreme measures. We believe that, as known dissidents in Iran, the danger to them in that country gives just cause for their appeal to remain in Britain." The men have said they would die rather than return to Iran. Mr Trotman has urged the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon David Blunkett, to revisit the decision taken on Mr Gravindi, Mr Haydary and Mr Haidari, and grant the men asylum rather than allowing them to die.

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