Tuesday 28 January 2020

Bail for refugee 
on hunger strike

By Gordon Deegan

A 33-year old Afghan who fought the Taliban and is now on hunger strike, has appeared in court in connection with causing criminal damage at a housing centre for asylum-

At Ennis District Court, Melad Melaadi appeared in connection with the criminal damage of glass panels at Mount Trenchard direct provision centre at Foynes, Co Limerick on Sunday.

The alleged criminal damage coincided with Mr Melaadi reaching the 10-year mark in the direct provision system here that accommodates asylum-seekers in a network of centres across the country as their asylum applications are processed.

Giving evidence of arrest Garda Elaine Freemantle told the court that Mr Melaadi replied: "What I have done I'm really, really happy with and I will do it again to feel better."

Mr Melaadi also allegedly told Gda Freemantle: "I'm proud of what I have done and I will do it again to the death."

Solicitor for Mr Melaadi, Daragh Hassett told the court: "Mr Melaadi is very frustrated with the direct provision system and is now here 10 years. He feels that there is no progress in relation to his status in this country".

He said: "I'm not saying that is a defence in law, but I am offering context to his replies." Mr Melaadi was granted bail.

Irish Independent

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