Barclay Brothers-owned newspaper The Telegraph finally hit rock bottom, as it was caught misrepresenting a photograph in order to boot out child refugees, who could now face a life of abuse.
Embarrassingly, the outlet was called out by none other than the photographer himself:
— Björn Kietzmann (@bjokie) October 19, 2016
The picture’s caption explicitly reads: “three so-called ‘child’ migrants arrive in Croydon from the Calais camp”. The subtext is that these refugees are dangerous, are only pretending to be children, and should be removed from the UK. In reality, the oldest-looking person in the middle is not in the country at all, but in Calais. So The Telegraph appears to have found a photo of an older-looking refugee in an attempt to incite xenophobia.
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The article echoes controversial calls from Tory MP David Davies to use dental checks and x-rays to prove ‘older-looking’ incoming refugees are really underage. The mere 14 refugees he speaks of are allowed to come here because they already have family in Britain. And the Home Office later ruled out his proposals.
Misrepresenting photos is one thing. Using them to incite xenophobia and turn people against children who have likely been through terrible persecution is beyond deplorable. But especially when Europol estimated that at least 10,000 refugee children are missing around Europe, and that is only since January. There are fears that the majority of them are in the control of organised trafficking syndicates (modern-day slave traders) and may now face routine sexual abuse.
Under immense pressure, the government U-turned on its decision not to take in more refugee children back in May. Proposed by Alf Dubs, a former refugee himself, the promise to accept more children was crowned the ‘Dubs Amendment’.
On Wednesday 19 October, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn personally wrote to the Prime Minister calling on her to respect the amendment and “urgently intervene to protect unaccompanied children fleeing violence and persecution”.
Unlike Dubs and Corbyn, The Telegraph opted not only to incite xenophobia, but to mislead readers to do so themselves. The media outlet has truly hit rock bottom.
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