Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tragic story of Asylum Seeker's final protest

A Napelese man named Uddhav Bhandari, aged 40, set himself on fire when his application for asylum was denied in Glasgow, Scotland. It was a last, desperate action from a man who feared being sent back to a country where he believed his life, and possibly the lives of his family, would be in danger if he returned. Mr. Bhandari, after suffering anguish and pain for 11 days in a Glasgow hospital, eventually dies last Sunday. This article raises the question that how should an individual establish a credible fear of persecution. If you cannot gather enough inofrmation to support your cliam, should you set yourself on fire or hang yourself to establish a credible fear?
I think people like Mr. Bhandari consider it more dignified to put an end to their lives with their own hands, than to die a merciless death at the hands of a ruthless persecutor. Mr. Bhandari's death is not only a statement, but also a slap on the face of International community.

1 comment:

morgan marks said...

My heart sank as I read the article, before zain's description of it, so I did not know his tragic end... Personally, I cannot imagine what it would take for me to feel such utter fear and loss of hope - to decide to end your own life, instead of continuing to fight for it. It reminds me of our cases... and I guess that is the scary part. We are dealing with real lives, things we will never know, and as much as we should be thankful for that, it saddens me - why not us? Mr. Bhandari seemed to live a life of truth in his country, and he ultimately would have suffered for that if he returned. Now, his family is without a husband and a father, and Scotland may have missed out on a great man - what more do people have to do to be heard - asylum revolves around hard facts and I feel as if sometimes the courts are ignorant to the fact that the documents don't exist, or every little tid bit of information cannot be found because many countries that people come from who seek asylum lack the technology and communication that, for instance, the United States has. I sat in court and was absolutely stunned at how americanized words were used to describe things in the asylum seeker's country of origin, that were nowhere near what their home countries conditions are really like. Mr. Bhandari's death deeply saddens me, and I think it should everyone, since another man seeking freedom and another chance could not bear life anymore... and countries such as our own deny brave men like him everyday.