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No one chooses to be a refugee

In the past few weeks we have seen unprecedented media coverage of the dreadful ordeals that so many refugees are facing as they flee for their lives from conflict and tyranny.  The horrific and heartbreaking images beamed across the world are a stark reminder of how lucky we are to live in a democratic country, not at war.  Behind each terrible statistic on the news is someone’s child, mother, father, sister or brother.

No-one chooses to be a refugee.  Our beneficiaries risk life, freedom and exile rather than deny their principles, but many are not financially or physically able to escape, barely surviving in overcrowded refugee camps, or worse, imprisoned by oppressive regimes.

Tedros* was the edDSC_0429 copyitor-in-chief of a national newspaper in Ethiopia and wrote several pieces critical of the government.  He was warned many times by the authorities to stop publishing his articles, but he believed that people needed to hear about these important issues.  As punishment for being so outspoken, Tedros was attacked twice by government security agents and beaten almost to death in front of his house.  He was forced to relocate, but only weeks later he was tracked down by the authorities and stabbed.  On release from hospital, he tried to go into hiding, but was again followed by security agents.  He finally made the difficult decision to flee his country and travelled to Kenya.

Even though he is a recognised refugee in Kenya, Tedros receives no financial support. Thanks to our close links with agencies in country we have already sent Tedros a grant of £500, which is helping him with rent, food and medical costs.

It is so heartening to see the way in which many local communities are springing into action to welcome and help refugees in distress.  In the same way, our relief grants give practical help to prisoners of conscience and their families in exile in Europe, and all around the world.

Please, give a donation today to help more people like Tedros and his family.