Strathclyde Telegraph

Deported Glasgow student reported safe

By Daniel Speirs

Deported City of Glasgow College student Majid Ali is reported to be “safe and secure” having finally made contact with friends in Scotland.

Ali was deported to the Balochistan province of Pakistan on 9 June of this year. Friends and campaigners feared that he may face harm from Pakistani authorities due to his support for Balochi independence.

He reportedly told a lecturer at the college that he was “scared” before he was flown out of Scotland on a military plane. He sought asylum in the UK in 2011 after claiming members of his family had been murdered by the government.

The decision to deport Ali met with widespread condemnation from students and wider society. The University of Strathclyde Student’s Association joined the National Union of Students in opposing the move.

Gary Paterson, president of USSA, said: “We are delighted to hear that Majid has turned up safe and alive, however it is concerning that he is now living in a stateless situation and having to join the suffering of the European Refugee Crisis.

“The scenario in which Majid was thrust from his classroom into a non-commercial fight to an uncertain future has been utterly appalling. The process in which people are removed from classrooms and communities must be assessed as well as the rationale.

“We cautiously welcome this news, but note that Majid being anywhere but his classroom is appalling, not least when he is still facing an uncertain future in the refugee camps in Europe.”

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.”

Over 40 people staged a protest at the Scotland Office in Edinburgh in the wake of the decision. The #DontDeportMajid was trending on Twitter within days of the announcement, eventually being featured in more than 11,000 tweets.

Politicians also moved to condemn the Home Office’s decision. SNP MP Chris Stephens submitted an early day motion to the House of Commons warning against the perils he could face if deported, which was signed by 46 MPs.

The Home Office refused to comment on individual cases.

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