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Moderator Hands Over Petition Supporting Brothers Facing Deportation

Wednesday August 29 2018


A petition signed by nearly 85,000 people which calls on the Home Office not to deport two teenage brothers from Scotland has been handed over to immigration officials.

Somer and Areeb Umeed Bakhsh fear their lives would be in danger at the hands of Islamic extremists if they are sent back to Pakistan against their will.

The petition was handed over to staff at the Border and Immigration Agency office in Glasgow by the  Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Susan Brown, Paul Sweeney, MP for Glasgow North East, and the family’s minister, the Rev Linda Pollock of Possilpark Parish Church.

They were joined by the family, Possilpark Parish Church members and youngsters from Springburn Academy, where both boys are pupils.

Mrs Brown said that she hoped that Home Secretary Sajid Javid would have the 'decency, wisdom and compassion' to provide the boys, who are 15 and 13 respectively, with permanent sanctuary in the UK.

Mrs Brown said: “The story of this family has touched the hearts of tens of thousands of people who want those in authority to know how upset they are that they are being treated so dispassionately. 

“All both boys want is to be the Scots they are and not sent to a country where Christians are persecuted and threatened by Islamic extremists.

“If 84,000 people are willing to welcome them, why on earth can’t the authorities?”

The brothers and their parents, Maqsood and Parveen, fled to Glasgow in 2012 from Faisalabad in Pakistan after their father was subjected to death threats from Islamic extremists due to his Christian faith.

The UK Government has repeatedly rejected the family’s plea for asylum, largely because officials believe they can live peacefully in another part of Pakistan.

But Mr Bakhsh says his name and photograph has been circulated among Islamic extremist groups and nowhere in the country is safe for them.


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