Israfil Shiri has died after five days of terrible suffering in Wythenshawe Hospital Burns Unit Manchester.
On Thursday 27th August Israfil Shiri, a destitute young Iranian man poured petrol over his body and set fire to himself in the offices of Refugee Action in Manchester. He suffered burns to 80% of his body. He had told his friends he would do it to prove that this government cares more about animals than people fleeing torture and persecution.
"If they cut off all my benefits, prevent me from working and make me homeless, I too will commit suicide". These were the words of another Iranian asylum seeker who, along with 30 other people, attended a meeting on Monday to discuss last Thursday's tragedy and how we can prevent it from happening again.
Israfil Shiri, 30, who has been on life support at Wythenshawe Hospital Burns Unit following the suicide attempt at the Manchester offices of Refugee Action last week, died early on the morning of the third September.
In Memory of Israfil Shiri 1973-2003
Another innocent victim of the UK's 'Unjust and inhumane' Immigration laws
In Iran, he had worked in a section of the military and he fled the country when he and his family were persecuted because he refused to follow orders that involved harming other innocent people. He suffered from a complicated medical condition and since his application for asylum was rejected over a year ago, he had been refused any medical treatment, had been made homeless from his Salford council flat and had received no benefits or support.
His friend described how before the suicide attempt Israfil was in great pain due to his illness and was terrified of being sent back to Iran. He had lost all hope.
Reza Moradi of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees commenting on the incident said, "Once you see you are facing deportation to jailers of the Islamic regime - you can't have a solicitor, you have no house to live in, you can't work, that is enough for people to commit suicide, or do something like this."
This tragedy comes only a month after 2 other incidents in which one Iranian asylum seeker sowed his mouth and lips together and another went on hunger strike.
An open letter has been launched and the Manchester Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers calling for local politicians and leaders to meet with the Iranian Community of asylum seekers in Greater Manchester.