More than 1,000 people have signed a petition to the Home Secretary calling for the deportation of a brother and sister from Fishponds to be halted.
And Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East and a Shadow Foreign Office Minister, says she is doing all she can to help Anum and Ahad Rizvi.
Ahad, 19, a member of the cricket team Easton Cowboys, and his 20-year-old sister are being detained in separate immigration centres in the south east. The e-petition urging Theresa May to overturn the decision has been started by Ahad’s team-mates.
The siblings’ parents applied for asylum to the UK after their extended family and community were threatened by the militant groups Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Pakistan.
It would appear that after turning 18, Ahad’s and Anum’s asylum cases should have been separated from their parents, but their parents did not realise this.
The family’s lawyer said: “Ahad’s father came to the UK lawfully. He was lawfully joined by Ahad and the rest of his family from Pakistan, where they are a minority. Their extended family has suffered kidnapping, torture and murder and they have suffered threats, harassment and attempted kidnapping.
“Several months after their arrival in the UK, they received information that made their return to Pakistan extremely dangerous. They did not overstay their visa or simply abscond. They went to solicitors and made a proper application for asylum in the UK.
“Unfortunately, the family has been let down on a number of fronts. Both Ahad and his sister have been held in immigration detention since 25th March. They were issued removal directions and taken to Heathrow to board a flight 15th April. They refused to board. They were terrified. They have no family in Pakistan. Their extended family has long since left and are in Canada, the US, Dubai and Iran.
“Anum is a year older than Ahad. In Pakistan she would not be considered to have any protection because her brother is younger. Both will be at risk of assault, torture and death. Anum will be at risk of rape.
“This is a law-abiding family….Both parents suffer from multiple health problems and the youngest sibling, who is five, has medical issues. The family is traumatised by the separation and simply want to establish a lawful life, free from the daily fear of threats, harassment and the fear of kidnap, torture and murder.”
Kerry McCarthy said she had met the family and was in regular contact with their legal representatives and the Home Office: “I was assured by the Home Office that they will not be removed until the latest representations have been considered. At the very least I think it is essential that the family’s right to remain in the UK should be considered as one, and Anum and Ahad should not be singled out and separated from their parents and their younger brother in this way.
“It is clear from the emails I have received that Anum and Ahad have lots of support and many people are worried about their plight. I can assure you that I will continue to do all that I can to help them.”