|BEGGARS CANNOT BE CHOOSERS|
|IMAGINE THE STENCH|
"We are interrupting our hunger strike for several days," 20-year-old Pakistani Sayed Muhammed Mustafa told the Kurier daily Tuesday, without giving a reason for the halt. "But we are going to stay in the church."
Doctors had begun to express serious concerns about the strikers, who on average have lost 15 percent of their body weight, with ambulances being called out to the Votivkirche in central Vienna around 30 times to provide treatment.
The protesters' demands include being able to choose where they live, access to jobs, schools and social security and no more forced deportations. They had consumed nothing but water, tea and clear soup since late December.
Klaus Schwertner from the charity Caritas welcomed the halt to the hunger strike, telling Kurier that he hoped the government "will now take steps to engage with the refugees".
The interior ministry said however that no further meeting was planned and called on the protestors to accept offers of sheltered accommodation.