Statement by Arash Hampay about day 35 of the refugee hunger strike at Lesvos. The hunger strikers are now in critical condition. Arash calls for solidarity actions.
Image by Kini Von Teesdale Arash Hampay Facebook profile
Originally published at Arash Hampay Facebook profile.
Read all our articles about the hunger strike; here.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
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Statement by Arash Hampay, August 1, 2017.
Lesvos, Greece – Today marks the 35th day of a hunger strike by imprisoned asylum seekers on the island and Day 14 of the Solidarity Activists Lesvos #freedomstrikelesvos in solidarity with their call for justice, freedom and dignity. The hunger strikers are calling on activists overseas to show their support by fasting for 24 hours and publicising their action on social media with #freedomstrikelesvos, holding the attached poster.
The hunger strikers are now in critical condition. Arash Hampay has lost 11 kg and Khozin Hussein 13 kg since the beginning of his hunger strike; Bahrooz Arash now weighs 43 kg, having lost 17. This is the cost of freedom for a brown body in the European Union: a horrid gamble. With each passing day, Behrooz comes closer to death; his body is now eating up his skin for want of anything else. After this, blindness, heart failure, death. The odds race through the mind: to break the strike now might mean survival, but it might also mean continued imprisonment and deportation to places where death seems equally certain.
To continue is to keep the body on course to destruction that might be irreversible, in the hope that as it teeters on the brink of death, some power whose interest was never to see him, never to protect him might recognise that his life has value — might take fear and yield. Yesterday, Arash Hampay and solidarity activists on Lesvos who have been accompanying the hunger strikers begged #KhozinHussein and #Bahrooz Arash to end their strike to save their lives. They refused. Where else is the call for freedom or death made more literal?
#Solidarityactivistslesvos will continue their hunger strike in solidarity with Arash, Bahrooz and Hussein. We began it almost two weeks ago, inspired by the Palestine solidarity movement’s support of the most recent hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. Now, more than ever, it seems appropriate to echo their words: “Our chains will be broken before we are, because it is human nature to heed the call of freedom regardless of the cost.” Marwan Barghouti
Photos by Kini Von Teesdale