We first reported this story, here, ten days ago. 63 men, ages 20-40 years old, are on-and-off hunger-striking in a Viennese Catholic Church demanding that they be granted asylum in Austria because they want to work. Nevermind that there isn’t any work in most of Europe these days.
As you read through the news account, their big problem is that many, especially the Pakistanis, don’t even qualify as refugees and are in fact economic migrants (at minimum).
Since I reported on the protesters last, we are told in the news from The Vienna Review that they had taken ten days off from their hunger strike to eat and are now, Feb. 1, resuming their fasts as the media swarms the place to tell the mean old Austrian government about them. All-the-while they are being protected by the Catholic Church and are being coached by Georg Burstmayr an asylum lawyer!
“The most important question is access to Austrian labour markets,” said Bürstmayr. [Sure that’s it! They are just dying to work. Excuse my cynicism—ed]
Austrian government position so far is that they are “asylum shoppers:”
Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner met with the asylum seekers on 2 January to discuss their demands, but she remained unmoved. The Austrian asylum system is “one of the best asylum systems in the whole of Europe,” she said, adding that changing the laws on fingerprints and relocation would contradict the EU. The Dublin Regulation prevents simultaneous claims by the same person in different EU member states – known as “asylum shopping”. Bürstmayr explained that “every decision made by a country in the EU is valid for all other member states. They have no second chance.”
They do not fit the definition of refugees because they could safely live in some portion of their home country, that is especially so for the Pakistanis.
… asylum seekers in limbo: They cannot legally stay in Austria, nor can they return to their homeland. “Many of the asylum seekers protesting in the Votivkirche will have a very hard time getting recognition as refugees according to the Geneva Convention,” said Bürstmayr. This applies particularly to those from Pakistan. “They have fled from very complicated and threatening situations but still they might not [technically] be refugees.”
Of the 1,718 asylum applications made in Austria by Pakistani citizens in 2012, only 14 were accepted. Adalat Khan is from the Swat region of Pakistan, where 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban last October for her activism surrounding education and women’s rights.
“Pakistan is a more dangerous area than Syria at the moment, but Austrian people don’t understand that,” Khan explained.
This discrepancy arises from a concept called “domestic flight alternative”: If there is an area within an asylum seeker’s home country where they can feasibly go to live without danger, as in Pakistan, they are not considered a refugee. Additionally, Pakistanis are often thought to have economic reasons for seeking asylum.
Read it all and have a good cry for Vienna.
Readers keep in mind that Austria has been more than welcoming and some sections of Vienna are no longer majority Austrian as we learned here (Babel on the Danube) at Gates of Vienna.
It’s time for my nag—read about Al-Hijra the Islamic Doctrine of Immigration, these men are invaders and the Catholic Church is sowing it own demise here in Vienna—a city that defeated the Islamic invaders centuries ago. Ask these “educated” hunger strikers if they know what happened here when the Muslim hordes were defeated at the Gates of Vienna and I will bet every one of them knows the history. They are back to finish the job!