Tuesday 09-06-2015 - 15:54
Students and politicians across Scotland have come to defence of a City of Glasgow College student, Majid Ali, who was recently detained and is due to be deported imminently.
Students and politicians across Scotland have come to defence of a City of Glasgow College student, Majid Ali, who was recently detained and is due to be deported imminently to a province of Pakistan where Majid and his family have been persecuted for their political activities. Majid first claimed asylum in the UK in 2011, after his brother was the victim of an enforced ‘disappearance’ by Pakistani authorities. More recently, his family home was raided by government forces, and his uncle and cousin were shot and killed.
NUS Scotland and politicians are calling on the UK Government to stop Majid’s deportation, and students have been raising the issue with MPs across Scotland. Majid’s MP, Chris Stephens, has written to the Home Office seeking an urgent review of the case and will be laying down a motion in the House of Commons. Students are today (Monday) staging a demonstration highlighting Majid’s case at the Scotland Office in Edinburgh. A simultaneous demonstration is taking place at the Home Office in London.
Gordon Maloney, president of NUS Scotland, said:
“We are deeply concerned for Majid’s safety if he is forced home, and the UK government desperately needs to intervene and allow him to remain here. This whole case reveals the shocking inadequacies of our asylum and immigration system and we need to see urgent changes to that, for Majid and the countless others like him.
“The UK must have a duty to those fleeing conflict, persecution and possible death. Rather than sending them away, we need to welcome them in, leading the way for a more humane asylum system. Majid is just one of countless people who are let down every year by a system that is meant to protect them, but instead condemns them to an uncertain and dangerous future.
“NUS Scotland, Majid’s friends and fellow students, and his local MP have all come together in his defence. We all recognise that nobody deserves the kind of treatment he has received in this country, or the grave danger that might await him on his forced return home. The UK government needs to recognise that, too, and provide him with the asylum he desperately needs.”
Chris Stephens, SNP MP for Glasgow South West, said:
“It is fairly obvious to anyone looking at this case that Majid should be allowed to stay as there would be a genuine fear for his life if he was deported. I have written to the immigration minister and the Scottish secretary seeking an urgent review of the case, and a motion will be laid before the House of Commons.
“I thank NUS Scotland for highlighting this case. The student community, and the Baloch community here in Scotland, will not be ignored, and I join the demands to end the disgraceful and unfair way in which those seeking sanctuary in the UK are treated.”
The persecution of people living in Balochistan, Majid’s home province, has been documented by Human Rights Watch as part of the concerns of the Baloch people, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/07/13/pakistan-upsurge-killings-balochistan