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Refugees stage hunger strike in Austrian province of Styria

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Dec 23, 2022 - 05:22 AM

GENEVA (AA) – Refugees at a camp in the Austrian province of Styria have staged a hunger strike to protest having to wait for weeks in tents for permanent housing, according to Austrian public broadcaster ORF.

About 30 of the 70 refugees currently housed in large tents in the municipality of Spielfeld are involved in the hunger strike since late Wednesday.

The refugees fear they will be stuck in tents during the Christmas holiday as well.

The refugees are mostly from war and crisis zones in Syria and Iraq.

“I come from Syria, from the war, and I’ve already been stuck here in the tent for 15 days. I just want to know what will happen next and ask to be allowed into permanent accommodation before Christmas,” one refugee told ORF.

Petra Leschanz of the refugee NGO, Border Crossing Spielfeld, told the broadcaster: “The people are psychologically worn down. They want nothing more than to be transferred to permanent quarters.”

It is not clear how long the hunger strike will last, ORF reported.

The Austrian Federal Care Agency, responsible for housing, said it is currently impossible to say when the next transfer to permanent quarters will be possible.

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