Refugees share tales at Scarborough Amnesty forum

Refugees share tales at Scarborough Amnesty forum

MORE than 50 City of Stirling residents showed their support for refugee and human rights at a Scarborough Amnesty forum.

The Amnesty International Scarborough Action Group held a refugee rights speakers’ forum last Friday called ‘What if it was you?’

The event focused on the personal experiences of refugees, both before and since their moves to Perth and was hosted by the Perth comedian Cameron McClaren.

Two guest speakers shared their experiences, Afghan refugee Wahida Samim and Veronica Ribbons, who spent time at a UN Human Rights Commission Refugee Camp in Kenya.

Ms Samim said seeking asylum was a right, but not a choice.

“People who flee their country do not have a choice,” she said.

“They did not cause the war, they did not choose to be born in a country where there is no democracy.

“My story is that I have a chance to pursue my own dreams, my own destinations and pursue high education.”

Event organiser Cat Hogan said she was glad to give the speakers the opportunity to share their stories.

“These are such important stories to tell, we want to give the community a chance to get an understanding of what kinds of circumstances lead someone to seek refuge,” she said.

Scarborough Group co-convener Sarah Dedman said she was looking forward to continuing the group’s work on refugee rights.

“This event marks the start of an exciting journey for the Scarborough area. Once we’ve kicked off our campaigning with this event, we’re looking to open discussions for the Stirling City Council to become a Refugee Welcome Zone,” she said.