Syrian refugee stages hunger strike in Istanbul

Syrian refugee stages hunger strike in Istanbul

ISTANBUL- Anadolu Agency
Syrian refugee stages hunger strike in Istanbul

A Syrian political dissident has been on a hunger strike in Istanbul for 11 days after Canada failed to follow through on his application for asylum for himself and his family, who he has not seen in years.

Ammar al-Sheikh Haidar, the brother of Ali Haidar, Syria’s former minister of state for national reconciliation affairs, was imprisoned by regime forces due to his dissident stance.

Ammar told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency he was arrested in May 2010 and was sent to the capital, Damascus, where he spent a year in prison.

Later he was forced to flee to Lebanon, where he looked for a safe place. Fed up with the pressure, he said he left for Turkey in late 2015.

Noting that his daughter was expelled from her university in Lebanon after he failed to pay the tuition fee, he said he attempted to reunite with his family in Turkey but was unsuccessful as Turkish law only accepts migration from Syria by land.

At the end of 2017, Ammar applied for asylum in Canada, but his daughter was not added to the family file because she was over 18 years old.

Tired of all the negative developments, Ammar started his hunger strike on May 3 in Istanbul, looking forward to uniting with his family.