Then he discovered that his brother had been killed by Front Islamic Salvation (FIS) rebels during a fight in the mountains. Mostafa’s body was never returned to the family for burial and they have never been given any further details about his death.
Ismail’s two other brothers Marwan and Yousif, who had also served in the armed forces, were being heavily pressured by the Algerian authorities to re-enlist but refused because of what had happened to Mostafa.
Marwan and Yousif had also been visited by the FIS who beat them up for their previous involvement with the Algerian forces and threatened to kill them if they signed up for further military service. They fled Algeria for the UK where they have both married English girls and have been granted indefinite leave to remain.
Ismail tried to continue his life in Algeria but then the authorities began pressuring him into serving further time with the armed forces; he also was visited by the FIS, who beat him up and threatened to kill him. He fled Algeria and claimed asylum in the UK in 2002. His claim was refused and his appeal rights were exhausted in 2004.
Safia’s father was a government employee and, as a result, he and his family were repeatedly threatened by rebels. One night in 2003, she was at home with her brother when the house was attack by an armed rebel gang. Her brother was stabbed and left for dead – although he subsequently recovered – and she was viciously and brutally assaulted.
In March 2004, Safia was married to Ismail in a Muslim ceremony in her village with Ismail represented by a delegate. The following month she joined her husband in England and applied for asylum in May 2005. This was refused in 2006.
The couple and their two children have fully integrated into life in Blackburn. They have forged many friendships in and around the Mill Hill area of the town, where they have made their home. Ismail’s brother and their wives also live and work in the area and the family regularly visit each other.
Now Ismail and Safia, who both speak excellent English, merely wish to settle permanently in the UK and to build a safe and secure future for themselves and their children in Blackburn. Ismail ran his own business in Algerian and believes his entrepreneurial skills would be of immense benefit to the UK is he and his family are allowed to remain here.
The stress of the uncertainty over the family’s future has severely affected Safia’s mental health; she has been treated for some time now for depression and her GP has referred her to Blackburn Community Mental Health Care Team for an assessment. She was awaiting an appointment when the family was detained. Since the family has been in Yarl’s Wood, Ismail says that Safia’s medication for depression has been taken from her because the staff there fears she may self-harm.
You can help us to keep this family in the UK
1) Email/Fax Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer British Airways and urge him not to carry out the forced removal of Ismail Cherbal and Safia Aouf, nationals of Algeria, and their British-born children Sonia aged four and son Aya aged 15 months. Attached model fax . You can copy, amend or write your own version - if you do please include all the following details: " Ismail Cherbal and Safia Aouf, nationals of Algeria, and their British-born children Sonia aged four and son Aya aged 15 months, due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Thursday, April 16th at 09.45 hours on British Airways flight BA894 to Algeria.
Fax: 020 8759 4314 - from outside the UK + 44 20 8759 4314
Email: Jayne Atkinson, Government & Industry Affairs British Airways
2) Please send urgent faxes/emails immediately to Rt. Hon Jacqui Smith, MP, Secretary of State for the Home Office, requesting that Ismail Cherbal and Safia Aouf, nationals of Algeria, and their British-born children Sonia aged four and son Aya aged 15 months are released from detention and returned to their Blackburn home. Please use the 'model letter' CherbilFamilyJS.doc attached or write your own version. If you do so, please remember to include HO ref: A1264465.
Fax: 020 8760 3132 / + 44 20 8760 3132 if you are faxing from outside UK)
"CIT - Treat Official"
Please let the campaign know of any emails/faxes sent:
Cherbal Family Campaign
C/o Ian Pollock
End of Bulletin:
Source for this Message:
Cherbal Family Must Stay In Blackburn