Advertiser helps win asylum for Albanian couple

A two-month campaign by the North and East Manchester Advertiser has helped secure the granting of asylum for an Albanian Kosovar couple who had been ordered out of the country.

The free weekly paper said if Osman and Nevrige Caka had been deported they would have faced a dangerous future as they had co-operated with the authorities by giving evidence against former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague.

The Cakas entered Britain during the civil war in Kosovo, after their youngest son was shot dead by Serbs in an attack on their village.

They settled in Clayton, east Manchester, where they soon became popular members of the community.

Advertiser junior reporter Louise Nicholson wrote a series of reports for the paper’s “Stop the Deportation” campaign. Petition coupons were printed and were returned in their hundreds by readers in support of the couple.

Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd backed the campaign and handed over a portfolio from the Advertiser, including photographs depicting horrific scenes from the attack on the village, to the Home Office.

After it was announced they had been granted asylum, editor Gerry Sammon said: “This is a great result for the local community, and a huge relief for Osman and Nevrige. They are a wonderful couple who faced an uncertain future. Our campaign persuaded the Home Office of this.”

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