Hunger strike in Cuba
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    Cuban hunger strikers granted asylum

    Cuban hunger strikers granted asylum

    Published on April 3, 2013

    By Caribbean News Now contributor

    PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands — Just days after photographs

    of four Cuban refugees detained in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI)

    appeared in the media with their mouths sewn up as part of a hunger

    strike protest, three of the four have been granted asylum, along with a

    Colombian national.


    Immigration Minister Don-Hue Gardiner

    However, according to Minister of Immigration Don-Hue Gardiner, this is

    not as a result of their protest.

    Gardiner said that he received a response from the United Nations High

    Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the asylum applications of five of

    the detainees.

    "As a result of those reports the ministry of border control has made a

    decision to grant asylum following the recommendation of the UNHCR to

    three of the Cubans. Those three together with a national of Colombia

    were granted asylum, refugee status," Gardiner said.

    They were accordingly granted leave to enter the TCI and also permission

    to work in the territory.

    Two other detainees who were refused asylum may appeal the refusals to

    the UNHCR.

    Gardiner was at pains to emphasise that the asylum requests were not

    approved because of the Cubans' hunger strike protest.

    He said, "The TCI government does not lend itself to be swayed by those

    kinds of activities; we look to the facts that we've been given and we

    take the decision based on those facts. It is coincidental only that the

    reports from the UNHCR were received on the same day of last Friday

    before these actions, and so they are in no way as a result of these


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