SNP welcome bail for Sakchai

20 June 2006
Highlands and Islands MSP Rob Gibson and Euro MP Alyn Smith have today welcomed the decision to release Sakchai Makao on bail pending an appeal against his deportation and congratulated the community on their campaign so far.

Speaking from Edinburgh Mr Gibson said

"It is fantastic news that Sakchai is out on bail. Hopefully the judge at his appeal will be as understanding and will recognise that he is a valuable member of the Shetland community.

"Deporting Sakchai is a ridiculous idea and to do so would only further highlight the insensitivity of the UK home office in its actions.

"The campaign to keep Sakchai in Shetland should be congratulated for demonstrating such overwhelming support, but we all know it's not over yet and we must keep the pressure on."

Speaking in Norway, from where he is following events, Mr Smith said

"This is a good first step and hopefully Sakchai's appeal will be just as successful.

"Scotland and Shetland are welcoming and forgiving places. This young man is an important part of the community and must be allowed to stay. The rallying of support for Sakchai serves to demonstrate his role in the community and the community's wish for him to stay.

"I am continuing to press the European Commission to look into the possibility that Sakchai's human rights have been breached and if necessary to stop the deportation while an investigation is carried out"