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£3,320raised of £6,000 target by 94 supporters

Weʼre raising £6,000 to help pay the legal fees of the Bamyani family in their appeal against deportation.

Oxford, UK

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Update: We are delighted to announce that on the 17th of May the Bamyani family heard from the Judge that he has ruled in their favour and against the Home Office decision that Sohaila and Muslem must return to Afghanistan.

Hassan would like to extend his heartfelt thanks to everyone in the community who reached out to support the family so generously during this difficult time.

We are continuing to fundraise as we have yet to reach our target of £6000 which reflects the significant costs of the legal process to the Bamyani family.

This appeal is raising funds for the Bamyani family who are appealing against the deportation of Sohaila and Muslem Bamyani, the wife and son of Hassan Bamyani. The family are a valued part of the community in East Oxford.

Hassan Bamyani came to the UK in 2002 as a refugee from Afghanistan because he had been arrested by the Taliban, locked in a container along with a large number of others and only released through the chance arrival by northern alliance troops. He was arrested because he was a teacher, educating both boys and girls, contrary to Taliban doctrine. He was also a target as a member of the persecuted Hazara community, a Shia minority in Afghanistan, who the Taliban have vowed to drive out or eliminate.

Hassan is a UK citizen and has lived in East Oxford for 16 years. He has worked continually and is currently employed in The Co-Op on Iffley Road, in which role he has made many friends. He is a well-loved and valued member of our community, as well as a gifted poet whose poems powerfully express the horrors and injustices that exist in present day Afghanistan.

When he first arrived Hassan applied to the British Embassy in Tehran for leave for his wife Sohaila Sayed Akbar and their two children to join him. His request was refused because at the time he did not yet have permanent right to remain in Britain. His family were forced to take refuge in Iran where they had no legal status and survived under very difficult circumstances, subject to discrimination and persecution.

Over the next decade Hassan battled his way through a maze of bureaucracy, using his holiday entitlement from his fulltime jobs in the UK to travel to Kabul and Islamabad to present documents, only to be refused on technicalities and misunderstandings. Eventually Andrew Smith, then Labour MP for East Oxford, took up the case, writing to the immigration minister and insisting that Hassan’s wife be given a visa. After 10 long years the family were reunited, when Sohaila joined Hassan in the UK along with their two youngest children, but unfortunately there were still difficulties in their way. Sohaila was unable to pass the citizenship test because she was too traumatised by her experiences, surviving war and persecution in both Afghanistan and Iran while separated from her husband, to learn English to a sufficient level. She has been treated for anxiety and depression both in Iran and the UK. She is now studying on two language courses, one at Refugee Resource and one at the Ethnic Minority Business Centre, and is making progress while also working on a voluntary basis in an Oxfam shop. She is determined to improve her English.

Hassan’s son Muslem Hassan Ali Bamyani is now 18. He left Afghanistan as a refugee with his mother when he was 5 years old. He has no experience of living in Afghanistan and no friends or family there. He has been educated in British schools, is fluent in English, is employed in the UK in a security firm and contributing as his father has always done through the tax system. He has passed his citizenship test; however he has no right to remain as his status is dependent on that of his mother.

At the beginning of this year the Home Office refused Hassan’s application for his wife and son’s visa to be extended, ordering that they return to Afghanistan. When Hassan said they could not provide for themselves there he was told he could go and support them, even though he is a UK citizen. Hassan and Sohaila have been married for 32 years.

The situation in Afghanistan that the family would return to is not safe. Terrorist atrocities and suicide bombings are a regular occurrence in the capital and elsewhere. The Hazara minority are a particular target for extremist factions as they are Shia. The Hazara village of Merza Olang was attacked in the past few months by a combination of Taliban and Daesh/Isis forces and over two hundred Hazara people were massacred. The final appeal in this case will be on May 1st. If that appeal is rejected Hassan’s family will once more be divided. His wife, Sohaila, will be sent back to Afghanistan, the country she left twelve years ago, separated from her husband of 32 years, her oldest daughter and her three grandchildren. Muslem, their 18 year old son, will also be deported, losing the support and guidance of his father and older sister. Once again the family life of the Bamyani’s will be ruptured.

On 15 March 2018 Poppadom Pictures and Friction Talks held a poetry reading and film screening at Film Oxford to support Hassan Bamyani and his family. The event acted as a focal point for the local community’s support, drawing a very enthusiastic capacity crowd. Film Oxford was buzzing and people queued down the street to get in.

At this event we began fundraising to help the Bamyani family to fund their legal case to appeal against the decision by the home office to deport Sohaila and Muslem Bamyani. Friction Talks, Poppadom Pictures and the Bamyani family are very grateful for the generosity shown at this event, and as we have heard that many others would like to contribute this appeal offers an opportunity to do so. Many thanks for your support! And if you would also like to write a letter in support for the Bamyani family you can find information about how to do this on the Poppadom pictures website.

The audience at Hassan Bamyani's poetry reading at Film Oxford. Photo credit: Geron Swan

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Updates

5

  • Rachel Tatton3 months ago
    Rachel Tatton

    Rachel Tatton

    3 months ago

    We are delighted to announce that on the 17th of May the Bamyani family heard from the Judge that he has ruled in their favour and against the Home Office decision that Sohaila and Muslem must return to Afghanistan. The Home Office have decided not to appeal against this ruling. Hassan would like to extend his heartfelt thanks to everyone in the community who reached out to support the family so generously during this difficult time. Your generous donations have gone a long way towards covering the family's legal expenses.

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  • Rachel Tatton3 months ago
    Rachel Tatton

    Rachel Tatton

    3 months ago
    Update from the Page owner

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  • Rachel Tatton4 months ago
    Rachel Tatton

    Rachel Tatton

    4 months ago

    We are now delighted to have reached our target of £2,000. Many thanks to you all for your generosity and messages of support! It is fantastic to have reached this total in advance of Sohaila and Muslem's hearing on 1st May. We hope that the appeal leads to a fair and positive outcome for the family and enables them to have a peaceful and safe future here. It is still possible to contribute - the fundraising page will remain open.

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4 months ago

Rachel Tatton started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 6/20/2018 4:39 PM

Supporters

94

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Jun 20, 2018

  • Caroline

    Caroline

    Jun 17, 2018

    Good luck to them all!

    £30.00

  • Anne Paul jones

    Anne Paul jones

    Jun 15, 2018

  • Jennifer Worroll

    Jennifer Worroll

    Jun 13, 2018

  • Jeannie Fawcitt

    Jeannie Fawcitt

    Jun 11, 2018

    £20.00

  • alison vickers

    alison vickers

    Jun 8, 2018

    £100.00

  • Ruth Charity

    Ruth Charity

    Jun 1, 2018

    £100.00

Rachel Tatton

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Rachel Tatton

Rachel Tatton

Oxford, UK

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