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Police in bid to break refugee hunger strike

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Police in bid to break refugee hunger strike
17:22 CEST+02:00
The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) has enlisted the help of police negotiators in a bid to try to break hunger strikes by asylum-seekers in Boden, Gävle and Holmsund in northern Sweden.

"The police have unique skills for talking to people in extremely vulnerable situations," said Mikael Ribbenvik at the board.

Refugees in Boden and Holmsund have been on hunger strike since mid-April, while asylum-seekers in Gävle began their protest a little over a week ago.

Most of the hunger-strikers are originally from Afghanistan and many have been taken to hospital for treatment in the course of the hunger strike.

All of those involved are seeking residency in Sweden, several have been rejected while others are waiting for rulings or plan to seek asylum elsewhere in the EU.

The Migration Board sought the help of the police on Friday to try to end the protest and the negotiators were deployed in Boden and Gävle on Saturday.

Work to end the hunger strike in Holmsund is due to begin on Sunday.

"We are very worried about their health, it is dangerous to hunger strike," said Mikael Ribbenvik.

"At the same time we can't solve a hunger strike by granting residency permits, there is no one who can change a ruling or decision by protest, we are thus looking for other ways to solve the matter."

 
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