FECL 30 (December 1994/January 1995):

VISA OBLIGATION FOR CUBAN REFUGEES

 

The Irish government is trying to stem the flow of Cuban refugees into the country by requiring them to have visas for flights which stop for refuelling at Shannon Airport.

The new transit visa requirements were initiated by the Minister of Justice, Mrs Geoghegan-Quinn, in November.

Of the 300 people who have applied for asylum in Ireland until November this year, 200 are Cuban nationals. The applicants - travelling between Cuba and Russia with return tickets - have abandoned their aircraft at the Dublin Shannon Airport during refuelling stops and sought asylum. According to official sources, recently, more than 30 Cubans sought asylum in one three-day period.

The introduction of the visa obligation has been condemned by Amnesty International which says it will "deny the genuine asylum seeker fleeing persecution the protection to which he or she is entitled under international law".

 

Source: Irish Times, 9.11.94