Asylum seekers start hunger strike in Norway

A group of asylum seekers, including children, have started a hunger strike in Finnmark.

Asylum seekers start hunger strike in Norway
Some of the asylum seekers have expressed concern that they will be sent back to Russia, which will then return them to Syria. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix
Around 70 people have been transported from other asylum centres to Ankomstsenter Finnmark in Sør-Varanger. Many of them have now started a hunger strike in protest against the treatment they have received from the Norwegian authorities, broadcaster NRK reported. 
“When they brought us here, they said we would be interviewed by UDI [the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration, ed.], but we haven’t been. We haven’t been given any information,” one of the asylum seekers, Rami Haddad from Jordan, told NRK. 
“It feels like we are in prison. We can’t go out or do anything, the police are everywhere. Both children and the adults are now on a hunger strike,” he said. 
Haddad was brought to Ankomstsenter Finnmark from a centre in Harstad, while others were brought from a centre in Målselv. 
Over the weekend, a group of Syrian asylum seekers contacted NRK to say that they were being prepared to be sent back to Russia and that many of them feared that Russian authorities would in turn send them back to Syria. 
Last week, Norwegian and Russian authorities agreed that rejected asylum seekers could be sent back to Russia by bus.