A dozen authors who were planning to attend this year’s Edinburgh international book festival have had their visas refused, according to the director, Nick Barley, who warned that the “humiliating” application process would deter artists from visiting the UK.
The festival, which starts on Saturday and includes appearances from 900 authors and illustrators from 55 countries, routinely provides assistance for visa applications. It has reported a jump in refusals over the last few years.
This year, about a dozen individuals had gone through an extremely difficult process to obtain a visa, Barley said. They were from Middle East and African countries, with one author from Belarus, and had had their applications refused at least once.
Several applications remained outstanding, despite some authors being due to appear at the festival in less than a week.
“We’ve had to draw on the help of MPs, MSPs, ambassadors and senior…