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Journalist Jen is commended

Jen Stout, third from right, was highly commended in the online category of Refugee Festival Scotland's 2016 media awards.

A JOURNALIST from Shetland has been recognised at the Refugee Festival Scotland for her article about the Scottish police coming under criticism for assisting dawn raids by the UK Home Office.

Jen Stout, originally from Fair Isle, wrote a piece for the Common Space news website three months ago outlining how two Police Scotland officers assisted a 21 March raid on a 45-year-old LGBT asylum seeker and her young son.

She was highly commended in the online category at Refugee Festival Scotland’s media awards on Friday. The category was won by Iman Tajik of investigative site The Ferret for his powerful photo essay ‘Calais: Requiem for a dream’.

Jen told Shetland News: “I’m really overwhelmed to have received this award, and glad I was able to report on what happened to Beverly Kanjii, and document the role the police are playing in dawn raids and deportations.

“These awards highlight what refugees and asylum seekers have to go through and hopefully the writing contributes to tackling the situation.”

Scottish Refugee Council chief executive John Wilkes said there had been an “unprecedented” number of entries this year.

“We’ve also read many tales of struggle here in Scotland, with many refugees facing challenges from housing problems to destitution,” he said. 

“While this makes tough reading, there have also been some heart-warming tales of welcome, and connection between Scots and their new neighbours.

“Balanced and accurate reporting and storytelling is more important than ever for refugees, and has a major role in shaping a positive future for them here in Scotland.”

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021