Kurdish Syrian refugees on Lesvos end hunger strike

A group of 12 Syrian refugees on hunger strike in the Moria hotspot on Lesvos on Friday ended their hunger strike, which lasted more than a week. The 12 refugees, who are of Kurdish origin, started the hunger strike to protest against the slow pace in the processing of their asylum applications at secondary level.

The men had been sitting outside the asylum service’s offices, wrapped in blankets. They said each of them has been stuck on Lesvos between three and eight months, waiting for the appeals committees to reach a decision.

Asylum committees were recently reinforced and are now issuing their decisions faster, particularly for Syrians of Kurdish descent. The committees are waiting for a Council of State to rule on the legality of the procedure and whether Turkey can be considered a safe third country, and therefore whether refugees can be sent back as part of the EU-Turkey agreement. The court convened at the start of March.