Cause for celebration as activist granted asylum in Ireland after five-year wait
2019-07-01 13:58:41 -

By Chinedu Onyejelem


The granting of refugee status to a member of an asylum seeker activist group has been celebrated on social media by human rights activists and supporters.


Kyle Khumbu Phiri from Zimbabwe, a member of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (Masi), still lives in appalling conditions in a direct provision centre, having been moved around seven such centres across the State since his arrival in Ireland in 2014.


In a Facebook post to celebrate the married father’s newly acquired refugee status, Masi said Phiri “has suffered incarceration all this time with no right to live a life” since his more than 61 months in Ireland awaiting a decision on his application.


“He has been a strong organiser for Masi for five years now. We are so delighted for Kyle to finally declared a refugee together with his family and they are now free to start their own lives,” the message read.


“We are saying as Masi congratulations. This is also to motivate the thousands out there who have no hope of freedom … hang in there, work harder on your case, your day is coming. You shall all be free someday. Viva, comrade, viva.”


Many commenters on social media have expressed their support, praying for Phiri to move on with his life despite his long wait for freedom.


”Brilliant news Kyle — far too long to wait but I wish you every success and happiness in your future,” said Karen McHugh.


“Big love and hugs to you and your beautiful family Kyle Phiri… Your resilience, strength and dignity will always inspire me and so many others xx,” wrote Aideen Roche.


John Lannon added: “Lovely to read this Kyle. Should have happened years ago but great that you can finally move on to living your lives. Hope to see you soon!”


Several others also commented urging for an overhaul of the asylum application system. Vän Pöyntön warned that direct provision is an “indefensible system. A happy ending but unacceptable it happens this way in the first place, appalling.”


One commentator questioned the value of the system to Ireland’s progress.


“What is the value to us of his 61 month incarceration? Other than in what US companies made from our govt for food etc,” asked Jo Murphy.

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