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‘If We Go Back Our Lives Are In Danger’

ICC Note:
The fear that this Pakistani family has of persecution is very real – concerned British citizens should contact their government officials regarding this case.

Asian Image (11/09/06) – A family of asylum seekers battling to stay in the UK say they will be killed if they are sent back to Pakistan.

The Karims, say their lives will be in danger in Pakistan because they are Christians. The Home Office has said they cannot appeal against a deportation ruling made this month.

Nigel, 52, and Pearl Karim, 44, and children, Calvin, 11, and Crystal, 13, have lived in Nelson, since 2002.

Mrs Karim said the family’s solicitor was planning a judicial review despite the recent bad news. The family has received support from hundreds of people in the community in their bid to win asylum.

They were ejected from their house in Barkerhouse Road by armed police officers and threatened with deportation when their first plea for asylum was rejected in May.

They were given just a few minutes to pack their belongings, and taken off to the Yarlswood detention centre, near Luton. But the Karims were released after being given more time to prepare a second bid for asylum.

Campaigners, who are putting pressure on the Home Office to let them stay, said the family will face persecution because of their Christian beliefs.

Mrs Karim, a devout Christian from Pakistan, said: “We are doing anything we possibly can – I am a desperate woman and I am going to do anything to save my family from deportation. If we go back our lives are in danger.”

A Home Office spokesman refused to comment on the Karim’s case but said: “As part of a robust immigration policy we will seek to remove anybody who has no right to be in the country and has exhausted the appeal process.