Before Christmas I wrote about the case of a profoundly deaf Iraqui boy who fled from his home country with his family because he was under threat of death due to his disability. The Hamadamin family along with six year old Lawand fled northern Iraq after hearing reports IS was ordering disabled children to be killed by lethal injection. After traveling through Greece and Germany the family ended up in Dunkirk where they lived in a makeshift tent in a refugee camp for a year. The family have now settled in Derby and Lawand is receiving support at the Royal Deaf School and his damaged and useless cochlear implant was due to be replaced with a working one over the Christmas period. A petition with over 10,000 signatures calling for the family to be allowed to live in Derby has been ignored by the Government. The Home Office refuse to accept that Lawand’s case is in any way special or that any compassion should be applied to his family. They contested every legal attempt to grant the boy and his family and right to live here. A Home Office spokesman said: “It is only fair that we do not shoulder the burden of asylum claims that should rightly be considered by other countries. “Asylum seekers should claim in the first safe country they arrive in. “Where there is evidence that an asylum seeker is the responsibility of another European country we will seek to return them there.” Sadly despite an appeal to the High Court, the attempt to prevent deportation to Germany has failed as reported here.
Every individual or family that tries to claim asylum in the UK will of course have a traumatic story to tell. However few will have found a place of sanctuary where their needs are met so well and their cause has been so powerfully championed by local people as Lawand. Whilst such reasons should not necessarily overturn Government policy, particularly if they were to be seen in reverse (where families are rejected locally and they have not gained support, even though the state was wishing to allocated them to a community), the recent Casey Review has in its foreword a paragraph that the Home Office should paint on every wall of all its buildings including the office of Amber Rudd. It reads “We have always been at our strongest when most united. We are better for being open and inclusive as a society. Every person, in every community, in every part of Britain, should feel part of our nation and have every opportunity to succeed in it.”
Our Governments attempt to return this family to Germany is not the way that a compassionate Government would behave. It is not the way I want my Government to behave (I admit I did not vote Conservative at the General Election) and if Lawand was my son, having finally been given a chance to communicate in a caring environment, I would do all I could to allow him to remain in such a place. Even though he is not my son, I believe that the Government should pay attention to the 10,000 names on the petition and halt this deportation.