Asylum seekers from Africa sleep outside immigration office in south Cyprus

Over ten asylum seekers, including children all from Africa have been sleeping outside the immigration office in south Cyprus waiting to submit their applications as migrant reception centres are overcrowded.

According to report by Cyprus Mail on Tuesday, men, mostly from Africa and also some women and children camped out opposite the office in Engomi, Nicosia with their bags as immigration office did not accept their applications immediately.

We are here because the immigration people cannot attend to us right now… they said their cup is full, one of the asylum seekers told migrant support group Kisa.

Another said that officials “refuse to accept our application. 

They tell us to go back to our country, that this is not our country. We have nowhere to go, we are homeless, this is why we are here.

One man said;

I think it’s because we are all black.

Some asylum seekers arriving on the island over the last week have been stranded on the streets. Most of them are men from Nigeria or Cameroon who arrived in Cyprus from Turkey through the north, according to Cyprus Mail information.

About 50 of them were moved to Pournara on Tuesday, while another 70 were taken to the camp late on Sunday.

A mother with her four-year-old child who had been in the parking area for days was among those taken by social welfare services to Pournara over the weekend.

An unaccompanied minor who arrived on the island on Friday also had to spend two nights outside before he was transferred to Pournara.

The Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations and individuals have been taking them food and water.

Some people also posted a call for donations of food, blankets and winter clothes.

I think only a psychopath would see those people and not feel the need to help, even if it is by taking them some water or a sandwich, an independent volunteer who visited the asylum seekers told the Cyprus Mail.

Last Thursday, police visited them and issued €300 fine to one of them for failing to abide by the health ministry’s measures against the spread of Covid-19.

Cyprus Mail

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