Pro-migrant group Kisa staged a protest outside the interior ministry on Thursday in a show of solidarity for a family of Syrian Kurds who have been seeking Cypriot citizenship for years.
The family of Hassan-Janbali, stateless Kurds from Syria, have since May 14 gone on a hunger strike, and since May 21 have commenced a thirst strike as well.
For the past 15 months they have been camped out in tents outside the president palace and the interior ministry.
According to a statement by Kisa, from October 2014 to August 2015 the family, along with other stateless Kurdish refugees, protested outside the ministry of the interior. They discontinued their protest after one member of the family who fulfilled the required terms was granted Cypriot citizenship.
At the time then-interior minister Socrates Hasikos proposed that the other family members submit their citizenship applications in a year from then, when their stay in Cyprus would meet the time requirements.
“These applications were submitted in the period 2015-2017 but they were all collectively rejected by the Ministry of Interior on 27/3/2017, on unsubstantiated claims,” the NGO claimed.
It went on to accuse current interior minister Constantinos Petrides of taking “punitive measures” against the family by conveying messages to them “that he will not have their claims reviewed unless they terminate their protest.”