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Thursday, 9 August, 2001, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Newspaper faces refugee protest
Record demonstration
A small group demonstrated outside the offices
A Scottish daily newspaper has faced a protest over its coverage of the asylum seeker situation in Glasgow.

About 20 demonstrators gathered outside the offices of the Daily Record on the banks of the River Clyde to express anger at its reports on the asylum seeker controversy.

They said they were particularly angry about a report on Wednesday which alleged that an asylum seeker who had been stabbed to death was in the UK under false pretences.

Mohammed Naveen Asif
Mohammed Naveen Asif: "Verbal abuse"
The protesters told reporters that the newspaper's coverage has gone "dangerously close" to inciting racial hatred and they intend to lauch a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.

Two of the demonstators were admitted to meet executives of the paper but left a short time after alleging that they had suffered verbal abuse.

However, editor Peter Cox rejected the protesters' allegations and accused them of being politically motivated.

The ongoing row over the housing of asylum seekers in Glasgow has deepened since events at the weekend when Turkish man Firsat Yildiz was stabbed to death in the Sighthill area.

On Tuesday, the Daily Record said the victim's real name was Firsat Dag and his story that he was a Kurdish freedom fighter who had fled persecution was false.

Racial hatred

Quoting an alleged friend of Mr Yildiz, the paper alleged that he had left south east Turkey on a short term tourist visa and was seeking a market for his fruit and vegetable business.

Mark Brown, of the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, said: "The coverage in yesterday's Daily Record of the death of Firsat on Saturday night in Glasgow was dangerously close to incitement to racial hatred.

"Given the current tensions that exist the coverage, as far as we're concerned is extremely inflammatory."

Peter Cox
Peter Cox: Defended paper's coverage
Speaking after the meeting with Mr Cox, campaigner Mohammed Naveen Asif said: "I am still shaking because I never realised that a man like the so-called editor would use this kind of language.

"They are the ones who are provoking attacks on asylum seekers. They are the ones who are inviting people to attack asylum seekers and kill asylum seekers."

However, Mr Cox said staff had faced a threat from one of the deputation who did not stay for a discussion.

He said: "There was no bad language whatsoever.

"On the way out, one of them turned to my political editor and said 'if your editor shows his face outside this building I will blow his face'."

Reevel Alderson reports
"The group was protesting at the newspaper's recent coverage"
See also:

08 Aug 01 | Scotland
Refugee mediator to be appointed
08 Aug 01 | Scotland
Stabbed asylum seeker's anger
08 Aug 01 | Scotland
Ministers in asylum seekers pledge
07 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Refugee dispersal 'will continue'
05 Aug 01 | Scotland
Murder hunt for Turkish man's killer
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