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Maarij, 11, and his brother Saffat, 10, are two of the bravest boys I have ever met. They both came to the UK, from Bangladesh, over 7 years ago with their parents. Their father left the family and their mother has fought poverty to raise them. Saffat battled a serious form of cancer.
Sadly, last month Saffat passed away. After his long battle with cancer and he lost his life to meningitis. Saffat had undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy for a cancer which had left his face severely deformed and his body extremely weak before he sadly passed away.
Now, less than a month after his brother's death, the Home Office intends to deport Maarij and his mother Mushammat.
The family came to the UK in October 2007, to join Maarij’s father who was a PhD student at the time. He later abandoned the family and Mushammat was left to fend for herself and her two sons, living in extreme poverty.
In 2013 the family made an application to the Home Office to remain, so that Saffat could continue to have this treatment here. The Home Office refused and the matter went to court in 2014.
Now the family have been told they must leave the UK. But this country is all Maarij knows. He has a strong network of friends here, is a high-achieving pupil at school and his brother Saffat is buried here.
I have known the family for many years and am a local councillor in their home town.
I believe Mushammat and Maarij have experienced trauma that no family should have to be exposed to and the Home Office should grant them leave to remain on compassionate grounds.
Maarij is clearly affected by his brother’s death and has now become severely withdrawn and upset at the likelihood of being forcibly uprooted from the only home he has ever known.
Moving back to Bangladesh away from his younger brother’s grave, the resting place which he has visited regularly from the day of his brother’s burial will have a detrimental effect on Maarij.
I urge you all to sign this petition and show the Home Office that Newcastle is now their home, which is a sanctuary in which they feel safe after their past trauma.
Next week is the deadline for the family’s application, so please sign the petition now.
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Dipu Ahad needs your help with “Home Office: Let 11 year old Maarij and his mother stay in the UK #IamSaffat”. Join Dipu and 38,798 supporters today.