Glasgow-based journalist secures stay of execution against deportation

A GLASGOW-based journalist who faced deportation to his native Cameroon has secured a stay of execution, following a High Court ruling and support from the National Union of Journalists.

As reported earlier this week on allmediascotland, Charles Atangana – an active member of the NUJ Glasgow branch who has lived in Scotland for over six years – was due to be forcibly removed from the UK last night.

However, lawyers for Atangana successfully halted his return at a hearing in the High Court in London yesterday afternoon. Atangana fled Cameroon after several articles he had written, critical of the authorities, led to an arrest warrant being issued.

It followed a frenzied 24 hours in which the issue was raised both in the House of Commons and in the Scottish Parliament where NUJ National Organiser for Scotland, Paul Holleran, brought the case to the attention of a committee investigating media coverage of immigration and trafficking.

The Deputy First Minister at Holyrood, Nicola Sturgeon, and Tom Harris, MP for Atangana’s constituency, Glasgow South, also declared their support for the campaign.

Holleran told allmediascotland: “We are delighted and so relieved for Charles that he was not flown back to face his torturers. You have to remember that he was arrested, stripped and beaten for doing what the Telegraph reporter did last year exposing political corruption.

“We are now concentrating on gaining his freedom from the prison in London, securing full asylum for Charles and returning him to his Scottish sanctuary.”

Atangana, who presented an award at the Refugee Week Scotland 2010 Media Awards earlier this month, fled Cameroon in May six years ago, following alleged harassment by the regime over several articles he had written, critical of the authorities.