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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 February, 2004, 18:14 GMT
Asylum seekers stitch up mouths
Protesting asylum seekers
Supporters said the men were willing to die
Three failed asylum seekers have sewn up their mouths and gone on hunger strike in Glasgow.

Farouk Haidari, Farnborz Gravandk and Mokhtar Haydary arrived in Scotland three years ago claiming they had been beaten up in jail.

Their appeals for refugee status have failed and the men have now been told they will be sent back to Iran.

Supporters said the men had not consumed food or water since Thursday and would rather die than go home.

They claim they have scars from assaults which took place after they were imprisoned for being political activists.

In a statement, the men said they had been told they must move out of their accommodation by the end of the month and that their entitlement to benefits had been stopped.

Protest 'regrettable'

One of them, Mr Haidari, is appealing against the decision but will still have to move out.

His lawyer, Grace McGill, said: "As a country that's meant to embrace human rights you would imagine that there would be assistance available in this position.

"But regrettably the new legislation does not entitle them at all to any form of benefit and assistance."

A spokesman for Kurdish asylum seekers in Glasgow said it was likely that the men would be moved to a reception centre either in Scotland or another part of the UK.

The Home Office described the men's protest as regrettable but said that where an application for asylum had been turned down a person without dependents was not eligible to remain in the UK.

It is understood a senior lawyer at the Court of Session is considering raising a petition in support of Mr Haidairi.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
BBC Scotland's Gillian Millar
"Their resolve is strong"



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