Boost for campaign to win asylum for Pakistani journalist

The NUJ’s campaign to help Pakistani investigative journalist Mansoor Hassan gain asylum in the UK has has been boosted with a pledge of support from the deputy lord mayor of Manchester.

Speaking at an NUJ meeting at Manchester University, Councillor Afzal Khan defended Hassan, who fled Pakistan claiming his life had been threatened after he wrote articles exposing government corruption and an honour killing.

Hassan was joint editor of Crime magazine in Pakistan. He fled the country two years ago after he was sacked from his job and said he was beaten and had his house burned down. He believes he will be killed if he returns to Pakistan.

NUJ members and supporters of Hassan are working with legal advisers for a review of the decision not to allow him asylum in the UK and an application has now been made to the European Courts of Justice.

The North Manchester Evening Advertiser launched a coupon campaign which has received around 250 responses as well as cards from well-wishers.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “We as a union will redouble our efforts to provide support to him and his family to ensure that the Home Office listens and acts on the humanitarian grounds of the case which are undeniable and to stop the deportation.”

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