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.
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