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UK Border Agency, Westminster, Welsh Government, and G4S: Stop Fariman Saleh and her children from being deported

This petition had 383 supporters

Stop Fariman Saleh and her children from being deported

We are calling for support to petition UK Border Agency, Westminster, and the Welsh Government from unlawfully deporting Fariman Saleh and her two children. 

At present, there is no confirmation if the family has already been put on a plane whilst Fariman's eldest daughter, solicitors, and campaigning groups are working around the clock to bring this case to justice.


The story

Cardiff, 18th October, 6 am. UK Border Agency (UKBA) raids an address in Cardiff - the home of Fariman Saleh and two of her children Ibrahim and Lyali.

It's early in the morning, but the officers don't pass unnoticed by the neighbourhood, and the friends of the family are all out in the street to protest that the family not be taken away, 20 days before a hearing date for a judicial review of Fariman's case.

Her third child, the eldest who is seeking asylum under a separate claim, is left behind, screaming and crying in a desperate attempt to stop her family being deported. Mrs Saleh, a TV presenter  from Egypt, arrived in the UK in 2007 to claim asylum after fleeing from domestic abuse.

The family has lived in the UK seeking sanctuary and safety from a culture in Egypt that would see them dead for the shame brought upon the family by the incidence of domestic violence. To make matters more complicated, Farimam’s eldest daughter has now been able to claim asylum in her own right on the grounds of her sexual orientation. A characteristic that would make her even more at risk if she was to be deported.

Mrs Saleh was found yesterday by her son after having slit her wrist in the detention centre where she had been awaiting the chartered flight that had been booked to fly her and her two children back to Egypt.

On the wall, Fariman had written in her own blood: "I only wanted to save my children". An act of desperation to call upon the authorities to reflect on the gravity and impact of their actions.

Federico Podeschi, CEO of the LGBT Excellence Centre, a charity that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people,  stated: "The UKBA is renowned for raiding asylum seekers accommodation in the early hours, especially before a bank holiday, when it is difficult for asylum seekers to find legal representation and advice. There is no duty of care in considering the disruption of a family life or the despair that others are left to deal with.".

After finding Fariman, the solicitors representing the family made an application to the Royal Court of Justice for an injunction preventing the UKBA from removing the family from the UK and Judge Eady granted the out-of-hours injunction. Family members were informed accordingly by the solicitors acting on their behalf that they were not going to be removed. Some 30 minutes later, the same solicitors received a telephone call from Judge Eady who informed them that he had reconsidered his decision after being contacted by the UKBA and informed that they had paid £60,000  to charter a private plane to remove the family back to Egypt. Further challenges were made by those instructed, which included informing the Judge that he had relied on information that factually incorrect at best or deliberately misleading by the UKBA. The judge upon reconsideration came down on the side of the government and refused to reinstate the injunction. As we go to press, solicitors acting for the family are now making an urgent application to the court of appeal.

It is understood that Fariman Saleh sustained physical injuries where she inflicted self-harm upon herself in a desperate attempt for the authorities to listen to her and to plea to delay her being returned to Egypt. Attempts are being made by those instructed by the family to obtain confirmation as to the extent of her injuries and have requested a copy of the incident log from G4S who are the official contract holders for running the detention centres. G4S have provided a copy of the incident log to the UKBA but are refusing to provide a copy of the incident log to those instructed by the family. The log would contain not only information about the ins and outs of the incident, but also a record of the medial care and discharge – a clear lack of duty of care for a woman who is unstable and could possibly not be fit to fly or to look after her children.

No official news has yet been released to the eldest daughter about her family’s current whereabouts, whether her mother is doing well, and indeed whether her family has been deported. However, she has received a call from her brother telling her that they have indeed been deported and that force had been used on his because he was protesting.

The LGBT Excellence Centre is calling on the government to address the impact that the current policies of UK Border Agency have on the human rights and well being of asylum seekers and refugees.

Federico added: "There appears to be a number of negligent and unlawful actions that have not been addressed around Mrs Saleh's case. Their human rights have been totally overlooked and the UKBA has not followed procedure. Even from a human viewpoint, a family has been put through an enormous amount to distress and without any concern over their welfare and future risks to their wellbeing and safety".

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