Monday, July 1, 2013

David Cameron endures a highly embarrassing press conference as Kazakhstan artist with no hands refused UK entry because he couldn't give fingerprints, how much PR damage did the jobsworth do by their stupidity?

Dear All

In this country there is such a thing as the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Act is there to stop discrimination of people with disabilities, anything pre Human Rights Act 1998 must be read to comply with human rights.

An artist with no hands was refused a visa to enter Britain because he could not provide fingerprints.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said this is a "deeply regrettable episode" and he is quite right. However, it raises questions about what type of people and training do the people guarding our borders receive. Clearly this was wrong, and clearly something must be done to ensure that disabled people get properly treated in future.

It is also highly embarrassing that in a civilised country like Britain anyone should be subjected to this ridiculous demand. Did they think he could just go and get a new pair from somewhere?

And such incidents damage our credibility around the world.

Media reports in Kazakhstan said Karipbek Kuyukov was due to visit Britain in April to exhibit some of his paintings.

Cultural exchanges such as this add colour to society, although I am not arty, I can see the appeal of meeting the person responsible for their work.

Mr Kuyukov, paints by holding a brush in his mouth and between his toes, has had his work displayed around the world.

If he just painted houses, walls and ceiling, equally he should still be treated properly.

David Cameron has been put on the spot when asked about the situation at a joint press conference with Kazakhstan's ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev in his presidential palace.

The Prime Minister is leading a trade mission to Kazakhstan, said:

"In terms of the artist, the disabled person you mention, that was clearly a deeply regrettable episode. It is being put right and that shouldn't have happened."

And also, despite not being a British Citizen, his human rights and also the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 apply from the moment he enters our airspace.

Mr Kuyukov told Tengrinews last month:

"I was denied a visa on the grounds that my fingerprints were of unsatisfactory quality. I was asked for additional fingerprints, although I physically could not give them any fingerprints. My sister who was supposed to accompany me received a visa because they took her fingerprints. Why do they need fingerprints anyway?"

Did the Border Agency suspect he was a terrorist who has cut off his own hands to gain entry?

Did they think, he did a lot of paintings as a cover story?

Sometimes a story comes along that shows why there is a genuine need for public service reform in this country. If they did retinal scans at airports, would we be turning blind people away?

The best place for a jobsworth of this type is the unemployment line, stupid people shouldn't be guarding our borders.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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