“The Home Office has demanded we remove the footage”
The Home Office has been accused of bullying behaviour towards a charity that works with torture survivors, after seeking to remove a video of a Holocaust survivor confronting the Home Secretary over her language towards refugees.
Video footage, shared by the charity Freedom from Torture, emerged over the weekend of Suella Braverman being questioned by Joan Salter, 83, during a constituency meeting in Fareham on Friday.
Ms Salter, who was made an MBE for her work on Holocaust education, likened Ms Braverman’s language on migrants attempting to cross the English Channel to that used by the Nazis.
Salter said: “I am a child survivor of the Holocaust.
“In 1943, I was forced to flee my birthplace in Belgium and went across war-torn Europe and dangerous seas until I finally was able to come to the UK in 1947.
“When I hear you using words against refugees like ‘swarms’ and an ‘invasion’, I am reminded of the language used to dehumanise and justify the murder of my family and millions of others.
“Why do you find the need to use that kind of language?”
In the video, Braverman refuses to apologise for the language she has used, for which she has been widely condemned.
Since then, Freedom From Torture has said that the Home Office has asked the charity to remove the video.
In a statement posted on Twitter on Saturday, the Home Office said: “The Home Secretary attended an event last night and took questions, including on immigration policy.
“Footage of a conversation with a Holocaust survivor is circulating online. The video has been heavily edited and doesn’t reflect the full exchange.”
It went on to add: “Since the footage misrepresents the interaction about a sensitive area of policy, we have asked the organisation who posted the video to take it down.”
Freedom From Torture chief executive Sonya Sceats said the charity will not remove the short clip from social media, and pointed out that a video of the full exchange is available on its website.
Sceats said: “Suella Braverman refused to apologise for offensive and dehumanising language when challenged by a Holocaust survivor at a party meeting.
“Not only that, but the Home Office has demanded we remove the footage.
“As an organisation providing therapy to torture survivors who feel targeted by her language and who know first-hand where such dehumanising language can lead, we will not do so.”
(Picture credit: David Woolfall: Creative Commons)
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