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NUJ wins deportation battle for Mansoor Hassan

7 February 2008

Mansoor Hassan, the exiled Pakistani journalist, has won the right to remain in the UK. The result marks a victory for an NUJ campaign to prevent his deportation.

Mansoor fled to Britain six years ago after he was attacked and threatened because of his work exposing criminal activities in his native country.

The NUJ has been calling on the government to end the threat of deportation that has been hanging over Mansoor and his family since he was refused asylum in 2004.

The union has consistently maintained that Mansoor and his family would face serious danger if they were returned to Pakistan. As an investigative journalist, Mansoor had exposed corruption in the business community and political establishment.  He had also written on the issue of honour killings.

After his work resulted in attempts on his life and the lives of his family, Mansoor, along with Aqila, his wife, and their four children, fled to the UK in 2002 where they claimed asylum. Following rejection of their asylum claims, NUJ members across the country backed the campaign against his deportation, led by the union’s Manchester branch.

Mansoor has won the indefinite right to remain here through what the UK government calls a legacy case, since the family have been able to show that they have integrated into and contributed to the local community.

Mansoor said:

“Thank you to every colleague in the NUJ – from North, South East and West – who have supported me in my campaign.”

John Fray, NUJ deputy general secretary, said:

“The NUJ sends its best wishes to Mansoor and his family. This case should have been dealt with years ago. Mansoor was under threat because he was brave enough to investigate and report wrongdoing in his country.
"The UK Government should have shown commitment to journalistic freedom and helped protect him from the dangers he would face if forced to return to Pakistan.
"It’s impossible to imagine what it must be like to live under a constant threat of deportation to a country where your life would be in grave danger.
“We’re delighted that Mansoor has won his case and thank everyone who backed his campaign.”

Tags: , Pakistan, Manchester, Mansoor Hassan, asylum seeker