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Update: Deportation of human rights?

After Charles Atangana has been arrested last year, he remains on bail conditions, still fearing deportation.However, the bail conditions have been relaxed thanks to the effort of support campaigns such as by the National Union of Journalists.

The court case for Charles has been set for 15 February 2011. It will be accompanied by a demonstration in front of the High Court in London.

Protest for Charles Atangana

In my previous post about this issue everybody was invited to vote in a poll. The question was whether deportation is a human rights violation. Of all people taking part nobody thought that we have already too many immigrants in the UK. 50% of the voters said that everybody should have the right to live where she/he wants. Another 50% voted that it has to be looked at case by case.

Jonathan, a reader of the 4thPillar commented: “I think that the UK is quite liberal compared to other countries (although I may be wrong) on issues with immigration. It seems impossible, and also unfair, to apply blanket regulations.”

A research by the British Council (2007) ranked the UK in Europe’s top 5 most welcoming countries for immigrants. The report said it offered the fifth most favourable policies for allowing foreigners long-term residence. However, concerning integration policy it was ranked 15.

As always with statistics, it depends on what figures you are looking at. A poll published by the German-Marshal Fund thinktank (2009) gives a different impression. The survey says that two out of three Britons, more than in all the other countries surveyed, thought immigration was more of a problem than an opportunity.

The UK also was the only surveyed country where the majority (54%) agreed with the statement that immigrants are taking jobs away from the native born. Interesting as well is that British people believed the number of immigrants in the country was almost triple the actual level (27% compared with 10%).

No doubt immigration is an increasingly important and sensitive issue. It is affecting many human rights issues and ultimately also freedom of press.

I think this is a good occasion to remember the first article of the human rights declaration:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

You can take action and join an online petition to help preventing Charles from deportation.

Read more: The Guardian “A journalist in danger”

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