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Help needed for this family

UNITY! | 24.11.2007 18:11 | Anti-racism | Migration

Please help Humaira Qudoos HO Ref Q1043430 - Due to be forcibly removed at 5pm on Sunday evening.
At 5.15pm on Friday evening Humaira Qudoos' old lawyer received a fax from the Home Office informing him that fresh removal directions had been set for 5pm on Sunday evening.
Humaira and her three daughters are due to be taken from Heathrow to Karachi in Pakistan on Pakistan International Airlines flight PK788 at 17.00 hours on Sunday 25 November.

Humaira has been looking for fresh legal representation for the last two weeks after her application for a Judicial Review to stop a repvious removal direction in October was dropped by her old lawyers.
We are desperately trying to get legal advice to see if we can get Humaira's removal stopped but this may not work this time.

Humaira desperately needs letters of support to be sent to Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith, Secretary of State for the Home Office asking the removal be stopped and the children be released. Please remember to include the HO ref: Q1043430).
To: Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, MP, Secretary of State for the Home Office, 3rd Floor, Peel Buildings, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF,
Fax: 020 7035 3262 (00 44 20 7035 3262 if you are faxing from outside UK)

Alternatively please fax or phone Pakistani International Airlines asking them not to take this family as they will be in danger if returned to Pakistan.
Pakistan International Airlines (PK) (Heathrow)
Main Telephone: 020-8283 0901
Main Fax No: 020-8897 2535
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Humaira Qudoos and her three young daughters were detained one month ago on 12th October by the Home Office when going to report in Glasgow. The Home Office tried to send them back to Pakistan but their lawyer managed to stop this.

Soon after they were detained the family were moved from Dungavel in Scotland to Yarlswood in Bedfordshire but were not released after their flight was stopped even though 8 year old Wajeeha was due to have an operation to remove lesions from her ears. Instead the Home Office moved the whole family back to Dungavel so the operation could be carried out in Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow. After Wajeeha’s operation the family were returned to Yarlswood where they have been ever since not knowing what was going to happen to them and terrified that they were going to be returned to Pakistan where as a single mother Humaira would face extreme difficulties.

Humaira and her three children were abandoned by her husband after they arrived with him from Pakistan in September 2006. Her husband left her and the girls in a park in Edinburgh. She has not seen him since but has subsequently discovered that he has returned to Pakistan and reported her for kidnapping her own children and for stealing jewellery and other property. In her absence she has been sentenced by a court to ten years in prison. Since then she has also been threatened by male relatives for bringing shame onto her family.

The Judge in Humaira’s immigration case has found that her marriage to her husband was breaking down before they came to the UK but did not believe she is in any danger as a single mother if she is now returned to Pakistan. The judge seemed to believe that Hamaira would be able to re-start her life living with her parents as if she and her husband were still together. This is just not the case. If Humaira and her children are returned to Pakistan they face major problems, especially as she is accused of leaving her husband.

The Home Office’s own Country of Origin report from April 2007 giving information about the treatment of women in Pakistan states that:
“A 2006 Freedom House report on Pakistan recorded that:
“A combination of traditional norms, discriminatory laws, and weak law enforcement continues to contribute to rape, domestic violence, acid attacks, and other forms of abuse against women; according to the HRCP [Human Rights Commission of Pakistan], up to 80 percent of women are victims of such abuse…

Although less frequently than in the past, women are still charged under the Hudood Ordinances with adultery or other sexual misconduct arising from rape cases or alleged extramarital affairs, and 7,000 women are currently estimated to be in prison as a result of being wrongfully charged.

Gang rapes sanctioned by village councils as a form of punishment for crimes committed by a woman’s relatives continue to be reported, despite the fact that harsh sentences have been handed down in some cases.

The same report noted that “According to the HRCP [Human Rights Commission of Pakistan], at least 1,000 women are killed by family members in so-called honor killings each year…Pakistani women face unofficial discrimination in educational and employment opportunities, and the trafficking of women and children remains a serious concern..”

The Human Rights Watch World Report 2007 recorded that:
“As in previous years, violence against women and girls, including domestic violence, rape, ‘honor killings,’ acid attacks, and trafficking, remained serious problems in Pakistan. Survivors of violence encounter unresponsiveness and hostility at each level of the criminal justice system, from police who fail to register or investigate cases of gender-based violence to judges with little training or commitment to women’s equal rights. According to Pakistan's Interior Ministry, there have been more than 4,100 honor killings since 2001. However, provisions of Pakistani law that allow the next of kin to ‘forgive’ the murderer in exchange for monetary compensation remain in force, and continue to be used by offenders to escape punishment in cases of honor killings.”

If Humaira is returned to Pakistan she will be in great danger from her husband or from her own family. As a single mother with small children she will be in danger.

Please help this family – they have been in detention for over one month now. The youngest child is only 3 years old. In April 2003, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons recommended that “the detention of children [in immigration removal centres] should be avoided wherever possible, and only take place for the shortest possible time, in no case more than seven days.”

In January this year Peter Kessler, of the UN Refugee Agency, said: "Children seeking asylum should not be kept in detention. The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that children should only be detained as a measure of last resort."

Kessler added that the UN "will take every relevant future opportunity to reiterate our concerns to the UK government about the detention of child asylum seekers in the UK". The agency has also told the British government that its actions "are incompatible with the Convention on the Rights of the Child".

Jakob Doek, from the UN's Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, claimed Britain was "riding roughshod" over the rights of children.

Doek, also chairman of the UN committee on the rights of the child, said: "Children should not be detained because they are asylum seekers or are awaiting deportation. It is an obligation to provide decent facilities for all children, including humane housing. Detention should never be an alternative.

The Unity Centre
30 Ibrox Street
Glasgow G51 1AQ

0141 427 7992



Display the following 4 comments

  1. resistance — Annie
  2. Faxing without a fax machine — Annie
  3. What happened? — Annie
  4. Humaira returned to Pakistan — UNITY


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