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Film on refugee rights shown in Frome

THE film ‘Leave to Remain’ about the issue of teenage asylum seekers arriving in the UK had a special showing staged by the East Mendip Green Party and Frome Labour Party,  followed by a lively discussion.  

Rebecca Yeo from Bristol Refugee Rights said, “This was about the way that people have different rights within the country, and felt the need to challenge the notion that immigrants are really any different to other people.

“Asylum seekers can be detained at any time and held indefinitely without charge. They are expected to live on £35.70 per week and often have to walk miles to meet their regular immigration requirements. There is no extra funding even if people are disabled.  Destitution is used as deliberate government policy.

“However, the small number of Syrian refugees who will come to the UK will be in a very different situation from asylum seekers from other countries. Syrians will be  entitled to the same benefits as citizens for a period of five years.  They will be able to claim housing benefit, will not be made destitute or detained without charge.

“The showing raised almost £200 for Bristol Refugee Rights.  It is hoped that this will start further discussion in the town to raise awareness of what is happening to refugees and asylum seekers in this country, as well as encouraging more regular fundraising activities to support the work of Bristol Refugee Rights, which is the closest organisation working directly with asylum seekers and refugees.

“The discussion after the film decided to take some action to challenge the idea that immigrants are so different from others. We are inviting Frome residents to send us short stories of their immigration backgrounds. We are interested in hearing from people who have moved here from another country. This could be your own experience or previous generations.

“We would like to set up more regular fundraising activities to support the work of Bristol Refugee Rights.”

For more information contact Rebecca Yeo on  0117 941 5960  or 01373 473320.