Kurdish Family: On a hunger strike for the 37th day

Akid and Ferhad Hasan, two young Kurds who remain outside the Presidential Palace since April 7, 2017, are on hunger strike for the 37th day today. The Hasan family are stateless persons arrived in Cyprus in 2006 from Syria and complain about the collective rejection of their individual applications for the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship.

The family stated in a letter to the President of the Republic that the Syrian government refused to naturalize them because of the anticorruption action of their ancestors and that they had applied for asylum in Cyprus, believing that they are entitled to it because of their ethnic origin. They went to a protest outside the Interior Ministry along with other stateless Kurds to express their despair at the fact that having no citizenship they had no rights and they can’t return to their country.

In August 2015, the previous Minister of the Interior suggested the immediate grant of Cypriot citizenship to three members of the family who then met the conditions. Finally, it was given citizenship to one family member and, as they say, the others were promised that their applications would be examined as soon as they had completed seven years of legitimate presence in Cyprus. Eventually in the coming years they submitted applications for naturalization, but they were rejected.

The Interior Ministry said that he doesn’t intend to change anything about his policy towards the hunger strikers and the other protesters outside the Presidential. “They do not meet the criteria of citizenship. They should respect the process; the legislation doesn’t allow us to give them a passport. If we do this, others will also come and we will have a problem with the European Commission, “a source said.