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To: The Right Honourable Sajid Javid, Home Secretary

Somer and Areeb must stay in the UK

Grant immediate asylum to Somer, Areeb and their parents in order that they remain in Glasgow, safe from the threat of violence in Pakistan

Why is this important?

Somer, 15 and his brother Areeb, 13, are terrified that they will be murdered by Islamic extremists if they are forced to leave Scotland - the country they love and call home - and deported to Pakistan.

They fled the country to Glasgow with their parents, Maqsood and Parveen, in 2012 following death threats because they are Christians.

The brothers, who think of themselves as Scottish and are both thriving at secondary school where they have lots of friends and play a full part in community life, have lived in limbo for more than six years.

The Home Office have rejected the Bakhsh family's applications for asylum because officials do not accept their lives are at risk in Pakistan, despite the fact it is a country where Christians are persecuted and blasphemy carries the death penalty.

The catalyst for the family’s move to Scotland was the murder of two of Maqsood Bakhsh's Christian friends who were gunned down outside a court, while in police custody, in the Pakistan city of Faisalabad in July 2010.

Maqsood Bakhsh claims the people responsible for their deaths have targeted him, know exactly who he is and would kill him and his family if they had the chance.

Four of his friends have been killed by Islamic extremists, his sister in law’s brother is serving life in jail because of Pakistan’s blasphemy law and his nephew was kidnapped last month.

An uncle of Maqsood was murdered on his doorstep in Pakistan, shortly after he returned to the country after living for nearly 20 years in the USA.

Once you have been marked by people who mean you harm, you are forever marked.

The family feel safe in Scotland and want the chance to stay and make a full contribution to society.

How it will be delivered

Hand delivered to the Home Office


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL



2018-10-25 16:23:25 +0100

Dear friends, our MP, Paul Sweeney, raised the case in the House of Commons yesterday and Theresa May promised that she would ask the Home Office to re-examine the case. This has given us a glimmer of hope that decency, compassion and commonsense will prevail. Thanks so much for your support and please encourage your friends and family to sign the petition.

2018-08-30 13:24:57 +0100

2018-08-29 22:48:00 +0100

Dear friends, this morning around 60 of us gathered at the Home Office in Glasgow. Standing with us was Mr Paul Sweeney, MP & the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Susan Brown. With colourful banners & youthful enthusiasm from several young people from Springburn Academy, & other schools, we presented our petition to the Security Guard! That's all the Home Office could muster for such an occasion! A reflection of the fear that pervades the government - a very decent Security Guard, yes, but why couldn't someone from an office or a senior member of staff receive our gift - & it is a gift, make no mistake, for our petition is removing any further debate or difficult decision - just grant asylum!! We welcomed a significant number of the Press who were wonderful. We push on with a sense of gratitude to all who have supported Somer & Areeb, & the belief that compassion, decency & good sense will prevail! Thank you, we are humbled by your efforts on behalf of our boys.

2018-08-23 12:21:57 +0100

2018-08-23 12:21:36 +0100

Dear friends, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn came to our church yesterday to meet asylum seekers that we are supporting and met Somer and Areeb. He has pledged his support to our campaign and thanks each and everyone of you who has signed this petition. It is greatly and deeply appreciated by the family and their supporters. We are planning to hand it over to the Home Office next week and would dearly love the number of signatures to surpass 100,000 to send the Home Office a clear message that Somer and Areeb should not be removed from their home city of Glasgow and sent back to a country that is foreign to them - a place where their lives will be in danger. Please encourage your friends and family to sign this petition - it represents a glimmer of hope for the future. Thanks so much for all your help, it is making a huge difference.

2018-08-07 16:00:42 +0100

Dear friends, Scottish school pupils got their exam results today and despite living with uncertainty and the stress and trauma of not knowing if he was going to be deported, Somer excelled in his exams. He got six A's and a B in his National 5's... A's in Chemistry, Physics, Math's, English, History, Music and a B in Design and Manufacture. This is a remarkable achievement under trying circumstances. Somer is very happy with his results and his parents are very proud of what he has achieved. He is an extremely bright boy and very conscientious in everything he does. This is a 15-year-old boy in the middle of a traumatic situation and look at what he has achieved. I am very proud of him and these results are testament to his character. Just think of what this young man would be capable of in the future if he is allowed the chance to flourish in our country, which is his country.

2018-07-28 12:54:04 +0100

Dear Friends, our meeting with Mr Paul Sweeney MP, Mr Bob Doris MSP and the Right Rev. Susan Brown, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, went very well. I am greatly impressed that the two Politicians, Labour and SNP, have put 'party politics' aside for the good of this family. We are moving forward with a strong strategy in place. Please keep inviting others to sign our petition, we would like 80,000 signatures to solidify our case. Take a look at the video Cameron has made, see our boys, flesh and blood, decent and loving, who simply want a chance to make a life for themselves and serve others. Let's continue refusing to dehumanise these children and affirm their right to celebrate their gift of life.Thanks so much for all your help, it is making a huge difference.

2018-07-27 16:34:08 +0100

The Moderator of the General Assembly, Right Rev Susan Brown, has met with Somer and Areeb Umeed who tell her why they are terrified of being kicked out of Scotland and sent back to Pakistan where Christians are persecuted and blasphemy carries the death penalty. Paul Sweeney, MP for Glasgow North East, and Bob Doris, MSP for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, explain why they are fighting for the boys and their parents so they can stay in Glasgow.

2018-07-22 11:41:58 +0100

50,000 signatures reached

2018-07-04 06:56:24 +0100

20,000 signatures reached

2018-07-03 18:07:07 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2018-07-03 11:39:34 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2018-06-30 00:43:53 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2018-06-29 19:11:30 +0100

500 signatures reached

2018-06-25 21:46:13 +0100

100 signatures reached