African authors refused visas for UK festival

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About a dozen writers from African and Middle East countries hoping to attend a book festival in Scotland this weekend have had their visa applications refused, the event organisers say.

"We’ve realised it is systematic," Edinburgh International Book Festival Director Nick Barley has told the UK Guardian news site, "this is so serious".

The festival organisers haven't named the authors in question.

It follows similar complications at last month's Womad festival, where at least three African acts on the bill were unable to perform due to visa complications with British immigration.

"Do we really want a white-breaded Brexited flatland? A country that is losing the will to welcome the world?”, said Womad's founder Peter Gabriel after the ordeal.