NEWS

Man in immolation threat at UN office

An Iranian man yesterday threatened to set himself on fire in the headquarters of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Psychico, northern Athens, but gave in to police after lengthy negotiations. The man, who has not been named, entered the building and doused himself in petrol at about 12.30 p.m., protesting that his repeated applications for political asylum had been turned down and he was faced with deportation to Iran. More than two hours later, UNHCR staff and police negotiators persuaded the man to hand over his lighter and matches. Authorities then took him to the hospital. UNHCR officials said the man had requested asylum in Athens in 2005, but then traveled to London, meaning his asylum request was terminated. The agency said it has asked the Greek government to change the law.