Iranian refugees end strike in New Delhi over UNHCR behaviour in India with refugees
Sat 15 06 2013

The 10-day sit-in by a group of refugees at the U.N Doors in New Delhi gathering under a banner reading “refugee rights, human rights; we are standing together” has finished. The group released a statement to ask human rights organisations and activists to demand answers from UNHCR in New Delhi over their treatment and refugee rights in India.

Frustrated over of not being able to continue human rights work for Iran and being denied identity cards, passports, visas, education, career and health facilities, the protestors say that they should be given information about their own personal files in the UNHCR office and about their futures in India. India has not signed the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and does not have a national refugee law.

Full text of their statement:

With emphasizing on continuation of sit-in and according to statement below, protesting refugees, asked Human Rights activists and conscientious individuals to demand answers from UNHCR in Delhi about their behaviors with refugees.

We are terribly saddened that in these crucial days for people of our country, as a part of Iranian community, instead of focusing on current issues and incidents inside our own country, we are involved with secondary issues.

In the days that, people like Nasrin Sotoudeh, Abdolfatah Soltani, Reza Shahabi and many more of our compatriots are imprisoned by Islamic Republic of Iran, and people like Arash Sadeghi are in solitary confinement because of strike hunger for freedom; and the youth of Iran are getting arrested while they went to the presidential candidates’ meetings; what are we doing here??

Yes, we weren’t supposed to be out of Iran to save ourselves

We weren’t supposed to refuge from jail to jail

We weren’t supposed to be silent and be invited to be silent so skillfully in the greatest democracy of the world.

From the beginning of our living in India, despite all the problems of entering a new country, especially a country like India, as activists in exile, and as minor soldiers, we were alongside people of our country , Iran, in their freedom movement and their battles.

Not that we were at the shore of safety and we were happy

On the contrary, we are dying every second in the swamp of India

But we weren’t calm for a second and we will not be.

Now, after many years of uncertainty in India and pursuing different legal steps to solve our personal problems, each one of us, alongside our brothers and sisters of Afghan,, spending the 10th day of our sit-in in front of UNHCR in Delhi.

The office that has no intention of listening to us.

We are standing in here for 10 days in the temperature above 45 degrees, just to get the answer for this question; “ladies and gentlemen in charge of UNHCR based in New Delhi, what is your agenda as the only advocate organization for us, refugees in India, who are deprived form Identity Card, Passport, Visa, Right to Life, education, career and health facilities?

Please note that,

It is now 10 days that we didn’t receive any answer regarding our personal files. As grown-ups and matures, don’t we have the right to know about our own personal files and our futures in this office and in this country?

They say they have limitations and according to small quotas, there is also no possibility of transferring to another country.

The question is, why when an organization wants the file of some of us, there is no clear answer?

There are some letters in hand which talks about educational, security, legal and medical and career facilities and etc. Claims that astonished us, the refugees, who live in this country.

Behaviors like these not raising any suspicion?

It’s necessary to point out the interview of Mr. Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who at the end of his travel in early 2013 in Delhi, stated in an interview with “Hindu” website:

“India has set an example for other countries to emulate and…!”

The question is, Mr. Guterres, what kind of facilities and plans did you prepared through Indian Government for refugees that we, the refugees of India, are not aware of?

As you said in this interview, just not getting deported from India is enough reason to think of a country as an example in field of refuge?

The country which, by not signing international conventions regards refuge matters cannot issue travel job permits! Instead of every day of presence of refugees in this country, they will charge them with fine at the day of their departure, and at the time of residence they show no responsibilities in regards of education, career and safety, how can this country be an example?!

Mr. Commissioner, public opinion of world, the biggest democracy of the world (India) and UNHCR do not have slightest interest in our dignity and rights as human beings and they do not even obliged themselves to answer our primary and simplest questions.

Who will supervise these kinds of behaviors?

We are declaring that the incidents happening in here are beyond your imagination and beyond the unbelievable statistics that has been given to you.

On the 10th day of our sit-in, we just referred to some general issues and we postponed explaining details that depends on interest of addressees for the future.

At the end, we are inviting all the human rights activists, compatriots and conscientious individuals, to demand an answer from UNHCR in Delhi for their behaviors. The contact information provided below:

UNHCR, New Delhi office email:


Contact number of UNHCR, New Delhi:



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the Central Somali Community in India 2014-02-01 03:51:25
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