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Home NATIONALIraqi asylum seekers stage hunger strike in Lahti
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Fri, 02 Oct, 2015 12:53:38 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, Oct 2

A group of Iraqi asylum seekers started a hunger strike on Thursday in Lahti, southern Finland, to protest authority´s decision to suspend processing of Iraqi and Somali asylum applications, local media reported.

    The Immigration Service said on Wednesday that it would freeze current applications from Somalis and Iraqis, due to the ongoing assessment of the security situation in Iraq and Somalia and in line with the practices made by other countries of the EU.

     The decision might mean that some refugees from certain areas of Iraq and Somalia would be possibly returned to their home countries.

     In Lahti, where a total of 359 Iraqi and about 20 Somali refugees have been accommodated at a former army barrack, about 100 refugees gathered to express their anger on Finland's tougher approach for refugees from Iraq and Somalia, said national broadcaster Yle.

     Nasir Al dulami, one of the hunger strikers, told Yle that they will continue the strike until things turn to a positive direction for them.

     Meanwhile, around 70 asylum seekers held a protest against bad food and poor accommodation conditions in Oulu, northwestern Finland, on Wednesday evening.

     According to Finnish Immigration Service, 17,430 asylum seekers have arrived in Finland this year, among whom 69 percent were from Iraq and 10 percent from Somalia.

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