Globe House, Sligo
Amjad Rosstami is a 44-year-old Iranian Kurdish man who came to Ireland several months ago seeking asylum.
He reportedly came to Ireland via Britain where he was for four years.
After Ireland’s Department of Justice refused his application for refugee protection, Amjad faced a deportation order – to send him back to the UK – prompting him to go on hunger strike.
He is now on the 35th day of his hunger strike.
Ahmad Kamal, from Sudan, is Amjad’s roommate at Globe House where there were 195 asylum seekers living at the end of 2015. Ahmad has been in the direct provision system for 11 years.
Last Saturday, Ahmad spoke at Saturday’s rally in Dublin, calling for an end to the direct provision system and spoke of Amjad’s situation.
This morning, on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show, journalist Brian O’Connell broadcast an interview he carried out with Ahmad in Sligo last night.
“We share a room, he’s on hunger strike for 34 days. The first days were very horrible days – he was dying because [he was taking] no water, no food and his body not used to it. And then [after several days] when he started drinking [water], he seemed to be a little bit okay. Just, he’s so weak and he lost a lot of weight.
“He used to be very healthy, muscle man, now he’s very weak. He’s looking like he’s dying. He’s not moving out of the room, he just keeps lying in the bed because he has no energy to move. He’s sugar is low, his blood pressure is low and he’s, he’s too weak.”
“He wants Ireland to look after his case. He’s like lost for four years in the UK. The UK, they refused him so he decided to come to Ireland. He thought that this is his last chance. Die or Ireland will look after him.”
“He’s in danger. Iran want him, he’s wanted there and if he’s sent back, he will be killed there.”
“He’s a very quiet man, he’s very gentle. He doesn’t talk much. I really worry about my friend, he’s getting weaker and weaker every day. A couple of days [ago] he stopped drinking water and now he’s on hunger strike without water…”
Mr O’Connell explained that, at around 9pm last night, Amjad was complaining of severe stomach pains, an ambulance was called and he was transferred to Sligo General Hospital.
He said it’s unclear whether Amjad remains in the hospital or if he has been discharged.
Mr O’Connell also reported:
“There was a dramatic development in the case this morning. A Government source has confirmed that the deportation order has now been lifted and when I put it to them that the protest is continuing unless written confirmation is given, I’m told this will happen in the next few days – that he will be brought back into the asylum process on the basis that he stops his protest.
“Now, it’s unclear at the moment whether that will be enough to end the hunger strike, as he said he would only end the strike if he was officially interviewed by Department of Justice officials but it is a significant development. The deportation order which had been hanging over him has been lifted.
“But I guess many people at the vigil last night were asking: how was it that somebody could have been allowed spend 35 days on hunger strike before any significant progress was made?“