Saturday 17-10-2015 - 00:00
Following our campaign against his deportation earlier this year, it is with a mix of relief and continued concern that NUS Scotland can share that we have had confirmation that Majid Ali is safe and secure outwith Pakistan.
Majid, a student at City of Glasgow College, was deported to Pakistan in June of this year. The deportation came in spite of a campaign demanding his right to remain in the UK as an asylum seeker, a campaign involving fellow students, NUS Scotland & UK, and leading to questions in parliament from MP Chris Stephens.
The campaigners raised concerns that Majid’s activism for Balochi independence made him a target for the Pakistani government. With members of his family having been shot in the country and had homes raided, being forcibly ‘disappeared’ and murdered by the Pakistani state, Majid faced high risk by returning to the country.
Majid was forcibly removed from the country by a non-commercial military flight on June 9th of this year. Campaigners had been unable to get in touch with Majid after a call to a lecturer in which Majid told her he was scared of what awaited him in Pakistan. After months of silence, causing great concern for Majid’s safety, campaigners were able to make contact with Majid recently when he confirmed he’d left Pakistan and was now secure and safe.
Vonnie Sandlan, president of NUS Scotland, said:
“Majid’s safety has always been at the heart of our concerns, so it’s a great relief to have heard from Majid and to learn that he is safe. However, this does not legitimise the UK Government’s decision to forcibly remove Majid from his life and studies in the UK and send him back to a country where his security could not be guaranteed.
We will continue to work with Majid’s friends, students, and his local MP to lobby the government to allow Majid to return to his studies in Glasgow. Rather than forcibly sending people to countries where they are in danger from their government, we’d like to see the UK government do more to welcome in people fleeing conflict and persecution.”
Chris Stephens, MP for Glasgow South West, said:
“The Home Office decision to deport Majid Ali is clearly wrong, and I’ll be asking for an enquiry and want the UK government to provide every assistance to bring Majid home to his friends and fellow students.”