The Kamil family had spent the previous five years being ignored or told they weren’t a priority until they made a scene by camping outside the Border and Immigration offices in Glasgow. They also refused food or drink until their case was addressed.
The Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare has been hugely debilitating for the Kurdish-Iraqi family, who say they have been denied passports and vital documentation. Banaz, for example, was unable to apply for university as she has no official ID. He brothers, champion amateur boxer Serbaz and small businessman Daston meanwhile have been unable to leave the country.
Dastan, a qualified engineer who found himself unable to get a job because of his lack of passport, can be seen below in this video from Commonspace, explaining his predicament:
In a public post on Facebook ahead of the hunger strike Serbaz, the youngest brother of the family, said:
I won’t lie, I have worked hard all my life and can proudly say that I am the Scottish champion in boxing. I even worked towards silver in the British championship.
Even though I have given so much to this country I seem to not get any appreciation. I’ve applied for citizenship to be a part of this country but it is as if we aren’t even being heard.
I’ve had chances to go abroad and represent this country which I want to call my own. Me and my family have decided that enough is enough
The family were tipped into the hunger strike when it became clear that Banaz would be unable to take up an offer to study law at Caledonian University.
The Home Office has agreed to talk to them and their lawyer about moving the case forward next Thursday.