‘Asylum has become a dirty word’

Blurred refugees on a boatoriginally published by: BBC News
16th February 2010

The Scottish Refugee Council says that 25 years since it was set up, the situation for asylum seekers and refugees is worse than ever. BBC Scotland’s social affairs reporter Fiona Walker looks at how attitudes have changed.

Peri Ibrahim shows me the cameras he used to document his life before he fled here. When he looks through the lens it transports him back to times of conflict.

“Every time I look through, I see the dead body,” he said. “Stupid camera.” Peri has lived in Scotland for 25 years – the same amount of time the Scottish Refugee Council has been in existence.

He’s Kurdish and was made to feel welcome when he arrived. Living in Glasgow he’s seen the changes in attitudes towards asylum seekers from the inside. “This city is turning crazy,” he said. “A car went past and the window opened and someone shouted ‘hey bomber’. I never heard that before.”

It’s first treasurer, Rufus Reade, first got involved in helping refugees when the Vietnamese Boat people arrived in Scotland.

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