Migrants to return to Crete after ending hunger strike

The 237 immigrants who had been on hunger strike for six weeks in Athens are due to leave on Monday the downtown listed building they have occupied for most of that time to return to Crete.

A representative said that all the migrants had received by Sunday documents from the police confirming that they have been granted a stay of extradition.

Their hunger strike ended after 44 days when the government agreed that it would give the protestors, who either do not have a resident permit or whose permit has elapsed, a six-month grace period to stay in the country.

Ministers also pledged to make it easier for migrants to renew their permits in the future but insisted that they were not providing an amnesty to the migrants who had been on hunger strike.

Doctor Thanassis Karabelis said that all of the migrants bar five, who were still in the hospital, had been given the all clear to travel by Sunday. The other five were expected to join the group on Monday.

The migrants are due to leave the building in central Athens, provided by a friend of the Athens University rector as a temporary solution so the migrants could leave the Law School where they started their protest, on Monday afternoon. They will catch a 7 p.m. ferry to Crete, where they had previously been working and living.

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