LondonNet News Headlines
09/02/00
Media Hijacks Stansted 155
- Xenophobia rises as plane drama drags on

ANTI-REFUGEE sentiment is being stoked up by the police and the British media in the wake of the Stansted Airport hijacking.

Essex Assistant Chief Constable Joe Edwards fuelled rumours that the hijackers, crew and trapped passengers - all Afghani - were looking for political asylum when he said: "It may seem unbelievable that they have no other demands."

Those comments and similar ones made by Edwards' colleagues have been followed by huge splashes in today's newspapers which all but accuse the 155 people on board the Boeing 727 of attempting to freeload their way onto Britain's welfare rolls - the latest in a long line of anti-refugee comment in the UK media.

Through the increasingly xenophobic fog, two points remain clear. If the Afghan passengers are genuine, they deserve our sympathy and support. If, on the other hand, they are seeking asylum from the repressive and hated Taliban ruling clique of their homeland they deserve to stay, especially as the British government, for good humanitarian reasons, does not even recognise the Taliban regime itself.




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