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Bristol man's right to hunger strike should be respected, says judge

A judge at the Court of Protection has ruled the man's right to strike should be respected. (Credit: Google)

A Bristol man's right to hunger strike should be respected, a judge has ruled.

The man, a refugee from Gaza who can't be named for legal reasons, hasn't eaten for four months because of a dispute with the Home Office about his age.

Bosses at the hospital where he is being treated are concerned he is not mentally capable of making his own decisions and say he is at a stage where he could rapidly deteriorate, but a judge from the Court of Protection has ruled he should be allowed to refuse food and drink.

Mr Justice Hayden has ruled every effort should be made to "persuade, cajole and encourage" him to accept help, but he must be allowed to refuse.

The refugee, who settled in Bristol 10 years ago says he is 26, but immigration officials argue he is actually 31.

The man's permission to live in the UK will not be affected by the difference in age and if he were legally confirmed to be 31, it would have no major impact on his life other than eventually allowing him to claim a pension five years earlier.

But the man claims his date of birth is only remaining link to his previous life and so to change it is to rob him of his identity.

Last month it was reported his refusal to eat has left him in a critical condition and he took part in the hearing at the Court of Protection from his hospital bed.

He is taking legal action against the Home Office.

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