Best of the Fest

Confusion in the media today about 14 people on the run after breaking out from Campsfield detention centre in Oxfordshire. I picked up a copy of the Metro this morning to see the headline Asylum seekers on the run; others report that the escapees are convicted foreign criminals awaiting deportation.

It doesnt take a genius to see the problems that this illustrates. Firstly, the idea that theres something wrong, dodgy or illegal about seeking asylum; secondly, that people who have fled their homes seeking a place of safety are locked up with muggers and robbers which must be terrifying. The shadow immigration minister has rightly called for an end to this practice. He should be taking one step further and asking why on earth people are detained at all just for exercising their right to seek asylum Were campaigning to stop it.

Back up here, plenty of folks kicked off the Festival at last nights Fringe launch party. We were asked to dress in red, prompting several people to come wearing devils horns - which made me pity the people in Iran arrested as satanists for attending a rave at the weekend. The morality police could have their work cut out up here, I reckon.

I bumped into Lisle Turner, who is directing a series of vodcasts for us from the Festival theres a new one up today and more to come.

I hear Andrew Maxwells appearance could be delayed as hes come down with the flu after a late-night hike up Arthurs Seat. I went there myself on Sunday, possibly the only place to escape from people handing out flyers. On a webby, tip, listen out for Kate our director on the Guardian Science podcast today too shell be talking more about how were using the net to promote human rights (while some governments are trying to do just the opposite).

More from Edinburgh later this week let me know if theres anything you think I should go and see.


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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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