'agressive' | 

Ballymun refugee fleeing homophobic persecution says families are ‘afraid’ of protests

More than 100 protesters gathered outside the hotel on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and again last night in an anti-refugee demonstration.

People gather for a protest in Dublin's East Wall over temporary housing for refugees. Photo: Stephen Collins

Amy BlaneyIndependent.ie

A refugee fleeing homophobic persecution in his home country has described the fear and intimidation being inflicted upon asylum seekers staying in a Travelodge hotel in Ballymun, Co Dublin.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said families and children staying in the hotel are “afraid” and being confined to their rooms because of the threats from ongoing protests.

“They are aggressive, we don’t know if they will hurt you or throw something at you,” he said.

“Fair enough we all try to fight for our rights, but there are a lot of families here and they have done nothing wrong.

“These are people who are just waiting for a work permit. Most people are in families, some women are pregnant and others have kids. There are also young couples without kids.”

More than 100 protesters gathered outside the hotel on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and again last night in an anti-refugee demonstration.

The refugee described how a group of teenagers attempted to gain access to the hotel on Wednesday.

“They came here at night and they tried to get into the hotel and they tried to break the door,” he said, adding that the group left when security staff intervened.

He said during the protests the refugee children are taken upstairs and attempts are made to distract them.

“All the mothers keep the children upstairs in their rooms, they don’t go downstairs, but they can see everything through the window and they are afraid,” he said.

“From 3.30pm we are not allowed to leave the hotel until around 9pm, not even for a smoke or to go to the shop.

The asylum seeker declined to disclose his home country, however, he said homosexuality is “against the law, I would go to jail”.

He decided to leave his home country after his father reported him to the police for engaging in a homosexual act.

“My father told me that I deserve to die and I brought shame to the family,” he said.

“I don’t have a home any more, I am so stressed that I cannot sleep at night. There is no future for me at my home.”

The refugee previously worked in the construction sector in his home country and is currently waiting on a work permit.

“I want to work but I need a work permit. I just want to get a job and leave here and live my life like a human being,” he said.


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