May 27, 2003 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Abas Amini is knocking on deaths door, after sewing his eyes and mouth shut to bring attention to his request for asylum. He claims if he is sent back to Iran he will be executed for his political past. This guy is hardcore, he is threatening to set himself on fire if anyone tries to force feed him.
posted by dancu (18 comments total)
These self-mutilation trends have gone too far.
posted by DakotaPaul at 11:07 AM on May 27, 2003

If I were in charge of Iran I would send him to France.
posted by Postroad at 11:17 AM on May 27, 2003

He is reported to be threatening to burn himself to death if anyone forces him to eat and has a bottle of petrol close at hand just in case.

So sneak up on him and steal the petrol bottle. It's not like he could see the person anyways.
posted by smcniven at 12:01 PM on May 27, 2003

If I were in charge of the US I would send Postroad to Iran.
posted by The Michael The at 12:09 PM on May 27, 2003

Seriously, though, I think this well underscores the severity of human rights violations, not just in Iran but around the world, and the unwillingness of the West to fully acknowledge them save for certain cases (ie, where we want to go to war: see Afghanistan, Iraq). Such a flippant attitude to these things sickens me; how could one, on one hand, make such a comment, and on the other hand use "human rights violations" as a (partial) justification for two wars?
posted by The Michael The at 12:15 PM on May 27, 2003

So, in order to stop himself from being executed he'll kill himself?

Sounds like if you wait long enough this candidate for the darwin awards will just go away.
posted by nyxxxx at 12:26 PM on May 27, 2003

It's actually pretty logical. He would rather kill himself and make a point than be tortured. He would rather die by his own hand than by the choice of others. He would rather die as a free man than die as a captive.
posted by The Michael The at 1:46 PM on May 27, 2003

I think this well underscores the severity of human rights violations, not just in Iran but around the world, and the unwillingness of the West to fully acknowledge them save for certain cases (ie, where we want to go to war: see Afghanistan, Iraq).

That unwillingness is especially pronounced when the violator is an ally, like Uzbekistan.
posted by homunculus at 1:47 PM on May 27, 2003

'A refugee from Iran granted asylum in Britain has stitched up his eyes, mouth and ears after the Home Office said it would appeal against a decision to allow him to stay in the country, said his supporters'

The Home Office is playing politics with the lives of many asylum seekers at the moment. It is a reflection of the acquiescence to the the hysteria whipped up by the (mainly tabloid) press that the Labour party is exibiting.
Quite frankly I find it sickening that any government could be party to this kind of demonisation and scape-goating, quite apart fromt he fact that this kind of behaviour is usually associated with the right-wing. *sidesteps self-Godwin*
Home Office reports (which I will link to if possible, though it is not likely) comissioned in the past few years have repeatedly shown the benefits that asylum seekers have provided to this country (economically > £1Billion earned and spent in the UK), as well as the FACT that asylum seekers do not want (or get, for the first 6 months) any form of financial support from the state.
The reasons given for wanting to move to the UK break down like this:
1. Family connections
2. Margaret Thatcher (any country that has a female leader must have an egalitarian society)
3. David Beckham/ Manchester United

Nowhere in the top ten reasons will you find 'dole money'.
The Home Office has recently shut down a 3 year research project into asylum seekers, possibly because the interim results were good (for asylum seekers), no reasonable explanation was given.

Anyone who is strong enough to endure the herculean task of dealing with human trafficers to get to this country deserves the best possible treatment.

'Human trafficking is the fastest-growing business of organised crime with an estimated 700,000 people trafficked every year for sexual exploitation and forced labour'

Human trafficing could outstrip oil, drugs and arms as the biggest earning global industry if the currrent trend continues.
posted by asok at 2:11 PM on May 27, 2003

On review, the figure of £1Billion is the NET amount added by asylum seekers to the UK economy, after subracting ALL the costs to the public purse associated with asylum seekers.
One of the reasons why asylum seekers make such good scape-goats is because they are disenfranchised and have no forum in which to respond effectively to the spiteful illogic spewed forth by the press.
I imagine, that as he is a writer, Abas Amini probably wants to write. He may feel that he is being incarcerated in the UK because of this, just as he was in Iran.
What a fine welcome.
posted by asok at 3:02 PM on May 27, 2003

asok, thanks for the info! I don't understand how people can be making stupid jokes about this shit..
posted by slipperywhenwet at 7:12 PM on May 27, 2003

Right on slippery. That's some scary stuff, a big comeback for the slave trade and governments pushing to send home refugees who will probably be tossed into prison to be tortured and executed as soon as they get off the plane.
Making jokes about this sort of thing is way out of line.
posted by datadawg at 12:47 AM on May 28, 2003

I can only assume that those who are making jokes about Abas Amini's situation are doing so out of ignorance, and the difficulty in fully comprehending the situation that he finds himself in.
Taking your own life, as The Michael The has pointed out, can be perceived as a way of controlling a situation in which you feel you have no power.
posted by asok at 3:48 AM on May 28, 2003

I always find it interesting to note that asylum seekers seem to have the need to travel halfway around the world to the UK when there are other perfectly good countries to settle in which are substantially closer to home.

Yet the UK governmet claims we're not a soft target.

More on topic with this story, his application was rejected. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a lottery. They probably looked long and hard at his request, background and reasons and eventually concluded that something wasn't quite right. Otherwise they would have welcomed him.

As harsh as it sounds, he should be sent home. Otherwise it sets a bad precident ("if you engage in some publicity stunt, you can avoid immigration decisions and stay in the UK") and others will surely follow.
posted by ralawrence at 4:42 AM on May 28, 2003

Sounds like if you wait long enough this candidate for the darwin awards will just go away.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:46 AM on May 28, 2003


Repulsive if you ask me.

Asok: ask and ye shall receive. Also referenced in the proceedings of the Home Office Select Committee this month:

Bob Russell MP: Lord Rooker made the observation that those immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers who are permitted to work make a net contribution of between £1 billion and £2 billion to the economy. What efforts are you making to promote that good message?

Nick Hardwick, Chief Exec of the Refugee Council: Not enough.

Apologies, I paraphrase...

It irritates me having to listen to the asylum debate when it's dominated by small-minded bigots with no idea what they're talking about. Home Office figures put UK skills shortages at 100,000 in the depressed field of tech alone and we're supposed to be turning people away who're desperate to work? On what basis? Insane. Sorry to rant...
posted by dmt at 10:03 AM on May 28, 2003

Actually, ralawrence, as reported in the FPP link and by The Guardian, Abas Amini's application was approved, after his hearing was adjourned five times - three times because the wrong interpreter showed up - but the Home Office is appealing to have the asylum approval overturned, because they had failed to send a representative to the final hearing.

This process has dragged on for over two years, and Mr. Amini's legal status is still in limbo, thanks to the Home Office's refusal to simply leave him alone. I can understand, in those circumstances, how someone might feel helpless before an inept and callous bureaucracy that was apparently toying with his life, and maybe even go to extremes to protest his treatment at the hands of the government.

I'm sure Abas Amini is not the only asylum seeker to get this sort of treatment, or worse, at the hands of Western governments. It is a serious issue of human rights and human decency, and too often overlooked, and it's pathetic that even an asylee's death by hunger strike may not be enough to change things.
posted by skoosh at 11:50 AM on May 28, 2003

An update on Mr Amini. Apparently his asylum is approved, as the Home Office was told it has no grounds for appeal, but he is continuing his hunger strike on behalf of fellow refugees.
posted by The Michael The at 1:53 PM on May 29, 2003

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