City of Sanctuary UK was delighted to hear the news that our Chair, Sabir Zazai had won the Lord Provost’s award for human rights and was to receive a doctorate from the University of Glasgow for his services to civil society over the last 20 years in UK. We sent our congratulations to Sabir for his well deserved achievements, which are testament to his dedication and commitment to our vision of making the UK a welcoming place of safety for all. Unfortunately we were deeply saddened to hear that the Home Office had refused to grant Sabir’s father a visa to attend his honorary doctorate ceremony, news which has today been covered by the Guardian.
The decision to deny the visa highlights the failure of the Home Office to recognise the right to family life, and particularly in Sabir’s case it demonstrates their inability to make reasoned and objective decisions due to the institutionalised hostility and suspicion. As an organisation and a movement we stand in solidarity with Sabir, we hope the support shown to him by many people across the whole of the UK will be of some comfort to him and his family.