migrantvoice
Speaking for Ourselves

A Syrian refugee on UKIP poster

A Syrian refugee on UKIP poster

MV

 Migrant Voice -
 Migrant Voice - A Syrian refugee on UKIP poster

Joumana is a Syrian asylum seeker who has made the journey across Europe just like those in the UKIP’s latest campaign poster. She is a mother of 3 children, one of whom lives with her in the UK. The other two are still in Syria as she could only afford to pay for one of them to come with her. She is hoping that one day she will be able to have all her children with her again.

“As an asylum seeker, I live in isolation. I have no TV, but when I heard about the poster campaign I felt utter humiliation. I don’t like anyone to use us in this way. To me it feels like another form of persecution.  I am one of those people referred to in the image. We were forced to come here. We had a good life in our country; I had a family and a job. I never thought about leaving my country. I never had a passport. I only applied for a passport after my house was raided and I was beaten badly.

We escaped from fear, detention, torture, cold and hunger. All the men who fled did so from the fear of imprisonment and torture. When they came to Europe, they entered a bigger prison.

I myself made the journey from Syria to Beirut, on to Turkey, and then walked with my two year old son across many European countries.

I was lost when I left and did not know where to go. The whole route is decided by the smugglers. I wish there was a legal route I could take. I had to sell a kilogram of gold to pay for the horrendous journey.

I wish the person who came up with the poster would see all over facebook the photos of my brother who was tortured and killed to understand why we are leaving.”

This Refugee Week, Migrant Voice calls upon public bodies to respect the dignity of people fleeing wars and persecution and to refrain from exploiting their vulnerability, manipulating reality or employing harmful tactics for political gain.

Migrant Voice strongly condemns UKIP’s latest campaign poster depicting desperately fleeing refugees with the slogan ‘Breaking Point’ and ‘taking back our borders’, insinuating that refugees are people to be afraid of, which intensifies intolerance and discrimination.

We are concerned that such negative propaganda and rhetoric leads to increased prejudice and xenophobia amongst the public and that its long term impact is damaging for communities and integration. It also dehumanises people in need of protection and impacts negatively on public attitudes towards them.