Young Somali Asylum Seeker Commits Suicide

somali asylum seeker


A young Somali asylum seeker from Mogadishu was found dead in a Larnaca flat on the morning of August 29th. Police have confirmed that 18-year-old Mohamed Dahir’s death was a suicide. His family is coming over to the island to make funeral arrangements.

A member of the Somali community in Cyprus told us that the young man’s death has saddened everyone. According to our information, his request for asylum was ignored for a long time before being rejected last year and it is thought that he was depressed and stressed about his situation. Mohamed Dahir fled the crisis in Somalia, which is plagued by the Al Shabaab terrorists and ongoing war.

Mohamed Dahir was a quiet, friendly person and caused no trouble to anyone, one of his friends told, speaking on condition of anonymity. The young man was living in Larnaca and applied for asylum so he could join his family in the UK. After his asylum was rejected, he became very sad and afraid. The feeling of hopelessness grew until he couldn’t take it anymore and ended his own life.

“We’re all afraid. Afraid of the terrorists at home. We thought we could come here and things would be better. But now we have lost everything. We have no job, no education and no homes,” his friend said.

With the recent wave of refugee and economic migrants, the EU has increased the amount of money available to process them. But many refugees in Cyprus complain about the slowness of reintegration, denial of their rights and the authorities’ refusal to give them their subsidies. The Dublin refugee agreement also limits their choices; if Cyprus approves the request and the refugee travels to another EU country, that EU country can easily deport them back to Cyprus as it was the first country to process the asylum request.

But the humanitarian aspect must also be factored in. On top of the stress of being forced to leave their home countries, the refugees face further rejection and a lack of support even in the countries they thought would be better than their own.

A victim of terrorism, civil war and destroyed infrastructure, the East African country of Somalia can offer little to its people at this point. For Mohamed Dahir, neither Cyprus nor Somalia could offer him his human rights and right to life and peace. His death highlights the need for more compassion, reasonable and efficient administration and reintegration for refugees before it’s too late for another young man or woman.

Nobody would choose such a fate.

It’s another sad chapter in the book of humanitarian tragedies.

May he rest in peace.