Letters: Trouble in Dover

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The Independent Culture
Sir: We would like to stress that we as a community condemn all forms of violence that have led to the injuring of a number of people. We equally condemn the racist, xenophobic behaviour fuelled and encouraged by the inflammatory language of the local paper's editorial page.

Dover should not be seen as a no-go area for refugees, but the Home Office must consider taking urgent measures to speed up the process of asylum cases. Many of our clients have been waiting for years. Currently we are working with local social services, police and local voluntary groups to resolve the issue. But it's vital that the burden should be eased on Dover and that asylum-seekers should be allowed to be settled elsewhere in the country, particularly where their communities already exist.

We are also very grateful for the goodwill of many local people who have helped and assisted Kurdish and other refugees in the Dover area. Kurds are victims of persecution and are fleeing from the brutality and evil of the regimes of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. Our clients have suffered unimaginable grief, but even people who usually think of themselves as caring excuse their lack of compassion by saying, "It's tragic, but nothing to do with us, so sorry." But it is.

Our clients do not want to become refugees, and do not wish to become homeless. They certainly do not want to be tortured and raped. They want to be offered a safe haven. They want to make a valuable contribution to their host country. For heaven's