A NEWLY formed coalition has called on the Home Office to resettle displaced Syrians in Derry.
The City of Sanctuary, in partnership with the Pat Finucane Centre, the Bloody Sunday Trust, Creggan Enterprises and the Old Library Trust want Derry and Strabane to become places of welcome and sanctuary for refugees fleeing war and persecution.
Seamas Heaney from the group said: “We are calling on the Home Office to increase the number of asylum seekers here and to re-settle Syrians here through its Vulnerable Person Relocation Scheme.
“We need to follow the lead of people in Germany, Iceland and the Netherlands and raise our voices loud and clear that “Derry and Strabane Welcomes Refugees.” As a people emerging from our own bloody conflict we will become a place of welcome and a place of sanctuary for others in their time of need.
“Please join with us in making this a city and region wide collaborative appeal representing both the statutory and community sectors lobbying Derry City and Strabane District Council to become the first district council to “Welcome Refugees” to our city and region.
“We have witnessed the horrifying spectacle of refugees forced to take desperate measures to escape war and persecution in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Libya. Despite the efforts of the world’s governments and media to represent this human tragedy as an immigration event, people from across Europe have found their voice, taken to the streets and welcomed refugees with warmth and enthusiasm.”