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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Masih Family

I have been asked to use this blog to highlight the plight of the Masih family. Sarah and Marcus and their 3 children (Matthew, Rose and Mary: aged from 5 to 11) have been living in the UK for approximately 3 years. They left their native Pakistan in fear of their lives because they are Christians.

At present stories coming out of Pakistan indicate that Christians are being murdered and churches bombed. In their time in Swansea, the Masih family have become settled in the community of Port Tennant, in Swansea. The children go to St Illtyd's Roman Catholic Primary school and the whole family are involved with their local church.

Both Marcus and Sarah have attended college to improve their English and therefore their employment prospects in preparation of their asylum application being approved. All they want to do is to be able to bring up their children in safety and to work to provide for them and to pay taxes back to the country that they hope will give them that safety.

At approximately 0800 on Monday 18 June, uniformed officers arrived at the house. The adults were bundled in to a police van and the children into an unmarked car. The family's belongings were removed from the house in plastic bags. One of the local nuns and a local councillor were told by the police that the family were being take to Heathrow to be deported on Friday.

If they do return to Pakistan, it is believed that their lives will be in serious danger because of their religion. It has since been found that the family are being taken to Tinsley House removal Centre awaiting deportation on Friday. Supporters have no way of contacting them. Representations are being made to the Home Secretary by the local community and I know that their MP is involved. I am also writing to the Home Office.
What can we do to help them?
Write a letter of support to Liam Byrne MP at the Home Office.
They're on their way home! Don't know the details yet, but they're lawyer has confirmed they have been released from the removal centre and are en route back to Swansea. Thank you for your help in publcising this Peter. i suspect this battle is one, but the war is not over.
Yes, letters will still be required to support their application for asylum. I have amended mine accordingly.
I am glad that the family have been returned to their Swansea home. However, your post is conspicuously short of other facts Peter and is pretty much just an appeal to the emotions. Two questions I would want answered are:

Did they seek asylum when they entered the UK?

Why did they travel all the way to the UK when India was on their doorsteps; would India, the world's largest democracy, not have been able to offer them asylum?
The family have just been told that they have been granted indefinite leave to remain.

Thank you everyone who supported the family.
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