Illegal migrants went on hunger strike in Zhuravychi


There are some tens of Somalis went on hunger strike at Temporary Holding Facility (THF) in the village of Zhuravychi, Kivertskyi district, Volyn region. They demand release and issue of documents permitting them to stay in Ukraine.

Kyiv Post writes about this referring to very participants of the hunger strike and human rights activist.

«We became the hostages of situation, when we cannot receive any document for staying on the territory of Ukraine and without documents we are detained by police and are hold by months at THFs», – it is said in the statement of the hunger strikers.
«Persons can stay at THF up to 12 months, then they are just released not issuing them any documents. Thus, the  most of them find themselves again at THF. «Some of us faced already this some times and in addition to it there a lot of us living on the territory of Ukraine already 5-6 years», – Sultan Haib, representative of the hunger strikers says.

According to his words, State Migration Service does not give any documents to asylum seekers in Ukraine due to which they could stay in Ukraine legally until receiving the decision on refugee status granting.

The procedure of refugee status grating in Ukraine is complicated by the fact that State Committee of Nationalities and Religions was liquidated last year and new body engaged in migration issues, – State Migration Service – yet is not formed.

«Those of us having this status before cannot prolong it. In such a way they have to become illegal migrants, thus in a result we are detained», – Haib says.

Somalis tell that because of such situation in Ukraine some of them tried to cross the border to European Union illegally in order to ask asylum there. but unfortunately, they were apprehended by Ukrainian border guards.

«So, we neither live here nor look for better destiny in other countries. We are not criminals, we people fleeing from Somalia in order to save our life”, – Haib says.

The human rights activists report that at THF in Zhuravychi, Volyn region Somalis are on hunger strike “at least a week”.

«At the present moment we cannot verify the exact number of hunger strikers, however it is clear that there are some dozens. It is known that there are women and children among them», –  reports Maksym Butkevych from “No Borders” engaged in help to refugees and asylum seekers.

“Now we can not verify how many hungry people, but it is clear that several dozen. We know that among them are women and minors, “- said Maxim Butkevych of the project” No Borders “, which deals with refugees and asylum seekers.

Unofficial information about the hunger strike is also confirmed by international human rights organizations, but so far there are no official comment.

State Migration Service still does not answer to the questions Kyiv Post about the situation in Zhuravychi.

Somalia is recognized as a country where constant danger is threatened to people’s lives. The expel of the citizens asking asylum in another country, is prohibited.

Despite the fact that Ukraine ratified the Convention on Refugees’ Rights, and therefore it obliged to grant refugee status to people who are in danger in their countries, there are very few of those seeking status get it. So, in 2010 the figure was only about 10%.

As of 2010, there were only 2 000 334 refugees living in Ukraine.