Hell no, they won't go!

After the extraordinary intervention of students from a Glasgow high school, the deportation of a family of asylum seekers from Scotland to Kosovo was put on hold. Mr Murselaj, his wife, Tade, and their children Agnesa, 15, Gentian, 12, and Leonard, 9 – a Roma (Gypsy) family – were taken from their home early one morning by 14 Home Office officials after their asylum application was rejected. Within three days, a petition pledging support for Agnesa and Gentian was signed by hundreds of students at Drumchapel High School, where they were both pupils. Emma Clifford, 16, who helped organize the petition, said: ‘I’m just disgusted. I’m friends with a lot of asylum seekers at the school and a lot of them are scared it could happen to them. The support we got for the petition was unbelievable.’ The school has a high proportion of asylum seekers. Although the students come from widely different backgrounds, they are united in condemning the treatment handed out to the Murselajs.

Both the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the British Foreign Office have expressed concern over the persecution of Roma people in Kosovo, who are perceived to have sided with the Serbs in the war against ethnic Albanians.

mag cover This article is from the June 2005 issue of New Internationalist.
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