By Émer O’Toole, Editor in Chief
The University of Strathclyde Students’ Association (USSA) has joined the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland in calls to halt the planned deportation of a City of Glasgow College student.
Majid Ali was detained at Dungavel Detention Centre this week and is due to be deported to Balochistan province immediately.
Ali claimed asylum after his brother was ‘disappeared’ during opposition to their Government in an ongoing crisis documented by Human Rights Watch.
The USSA supports the demonstration that will call the UK Government to halt the deportation outside the Scotland Office in Edinburgh on Monday 8 June at 1pm.
Students have raised concerns for Ali’s safety and future since he will return to a province facing political persecution, and urge the UK Government to stop the deportation.
Gary Paterson, President of the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association and Vice President (Communities)-Elect of NUS Scotland said students are “disgusted” that they can be “flung from [their] lives and studies to a dangerous future.”
“Majid is trying to build a future through education and away from persecution, I am disgusted that his progress as a student and his asylum in this country has been revoked at the whim of the UK Government; students will fight to reverse these life-destroying decisions.”
Sanjay Lago, President of City of Glasgow Students’ Association, spoke of how he was “shocked” to receive an email about Ali’s deportation and said “you never wish anything to happen to any student.”
“…the incredible support from NUS Scotland and UK and the NUS Black students Committee UK…means a lot.”
“This fight is for Majid but also to fight for the many students who are sent back to their country and end up becoming non-existent.”
“This is a chance for us to make sure people are safe and lives are saved! I really hope to get a big turnout for the demonstration on Monday!”
Gordon Maloney, NUS Scotland President said the case “reveals the shocking inhumanity of our asylum and immigration processes and this urgently needs to change.”
“This country has more than enough to provide for those fleeing war and persecution and, rather kicking them out, we should be welcoming them with open arms.”
Paterson added: “It is unacceptable that students can have their lives disrupted and destroyed, we call on the UK Government to halt this deportation, return Majid from the prospect of a politically motivated murder back to his fellow students and loved ones, and review these processes to ensure this never happens again.”
Since January 2001, at least 150 people have been abducted and their bodies abandoned, in Balochistan.
This act is widely referred to as “kill and dump” operations and it is thought that Pakistani security forces involved in counterinsurgency may be responsible.
Human Rights watch has also reported widespread disappearances and killings of opposition leaders and activists by the military, intelligence agencies, and the paramilitary Frontier Corps in Balochistan.}