Privacy appeal over Bute’s Syrian families

Concerns have been raised over the impact of media coverage of Bute's Syrian families on their relatives in their home country.
Concerns have been raised over the impact of media coverage of Bute's Syrian families on their relatives in their home country.

The global media interest in Bute’s new Syrian arrivals could risk the safety of family members in their home country, it has been claimed.

A week on from the arrival of the first nine of 15 families on the island, concern has been expressed by some of them that the ongoing interest shown by national and international reporters, photographers and TV crews might create problems for relatives still living in Syria.

Retired social worker John Duncan, one of the Rothesay residents helping Bute’s new arrivals settle in after they were brought to Scotland from a refugee camp in Lebanon, told The Buteman: “The main concern we have is protecting the privacy of our families, and their families back home.

“Some of our families are worried that being identified in photographs and TV footage may have consequences for their relatives back in Syria.”

Mr Duncan said the response of the community on Bute to the arrival of the island’s newest residents had been “fantastic”, and that no unforeseen problems or shortages had been identified since their arrival.

“We think just about everything is covered,” he added, “and if we haven’t got people on the island who can help, we know people on the mainland who can.”