Dear Theresa May,
I writing on behalf of a young boy called Rabar Hamad. Do you know of his case?
I strongly urge you to reconsider Radar’s forced repatriation back to Iraq, a place where both his parents were murdered. This is urgent; he has been told that he will be deported on August 31st. Why is the Home Office sending him back to one of the most dangerous war zones in the world at such a young and vulnerable age, especially when he has settled so well into a promising life in the U.K. He has so much potential, and so much to offer. If we pride ourselves on establishing justice and peace we have a duty to people like Rabar. He must be given a chance in life.
The ‘Constitution of the International Refugee Organization’ defines a refugee as ‘displaced persons’. Rabar is most definitely a displaced person unable to return to his ‘habitual residence’ without a danger of persecution and violent conflict. Under Article 1 of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees “…the term “refugee” shall apply to any person who:
(1) Has been considered a refugee under the Arrangements of 12 May 1926 and 30 June 1928 or under the Conventions of 28 October 1933 and 10 February 1938, the Protocol of 14 September 1939 or the Constitution of the International Refugee Organization;
(2) Owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”
Rabar Hadam absolutely fits into the category of refugee, and has every right to protection as an asylum seeker within the British legal establishment. Rabar has even been quoted as saying: “I’m 16 and should be allowed to stay. I don’t want to go to Iraq. They will kill me like they did my parents. I love it in England.” So why is he being deported back to Iraq?
By admission, on the Home Office’s own government website:
“Asylum is protection given by a country to someone who is fleeing persecution in their own country. It is given under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. To be recognised as a refugee, you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you have a well-founded fear of persecution. The UK also adheres to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prevents us sending someone to a country where there is a real risk that they will be exposed to torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/asylum/)
If anyone is fleeing persecution in his country, Rabar is definitely eligible for the title of refugee and has every right under international law to stay in the U.K. Following the murder of both Rabar Hamad’s parents in an explosion targeted deliberately at his home Rabar was forced to flee Iraq. Leaving behind Pawar, his nine year old sister, who is now in hiding. Rabar has had no contact with her for 2 years. He arrived in the UK after a long journey hidden near the wheel arch of a truck. On arrival, aged 15, he was age assessed by a social worker as an adult and lived in a hostel for a year with no understanding of English and unable to read any of the Home Office papers which arrived or to properly feed himself. Following a tribunal hearing he was then correctly age assessed as a minor by a doctor and placed in a children’s home where he has thrived.
However, Wigan Social Services failed to notify the Home Office of his change of address and he was judged to be an absconder. The social worker and her line manager who did this no longer works at Wigan! A representative from Wigan suggested this may be due to incompetence. Because of the confusion, the Home Office has said all his evidence is unreliable. This is not true. Anyone meeting Rabar would know he is not 20, as claimed by the Home Office. He is a sweet, kind and quiet boy with many friends at school. He is talented in football, having trialled for Fulham and Bury. He had almost no education before entering the UK and now is working on GCSEs, including English. He recently achieved a pass in a piece of course work on Macbeth. No easy task. If he is returned to Iraq his life would be in danger. At school he has made huge progress and is now doing GCSEs.
Radar is a young boy, whether he is 16 or 20 is not important, what is important is his safety and an opportunity for him to lead a happy life. If you send him back to Iraq there is little hope that he would grow up a well-adjusted and happy individual. Sending Rabar back would be so traumatic for him and will not solve anything. It won’t solve immigration problems or threats of terrorism, if anything it will make things worse.
I’m only 22 and cannot even begin to imagine the fear and horror of being forced to go back to a place where my family was killed, to face further aggression, violence and most probably death. Just imagine if it was you or your child, is that what you would want? I doubt he’d be able to cope let alone survive. His deportation is a death sentence.
I write this in aid of all refugees who flee from countries to escape persecution and rape, and, hence, seek political asylum. Well I’d like to advocate that refugees are welcome here on this island. We can’t be silent when the violent get bold. I want to say first and foremost Rabar’s home is my home. He is more than welcome in Britain. We should welcome him with open arms; embrace him with warmth, love and affection. We have a duty and obligation to look after the young wherever they are from, but especially from a country that has been illegally and immorally invaded by Britain, and subsequently ravaged by years of war. And especially because it’s British troops in Iraq that are contributing to the displacement of innocent people like Rabar that we owe the next generation a chance in life by offering sanctuary and refuge here in the U.K .
Iraq was the cradle of civilisation, in the 1980’s it was flourishing, and we, the British, helped destroy that beautiful country and culture. And now some right-wing extremists have the cheek to get angry when a young guy who’s lost everything (except his life), lost his childhood and his entire family, tries to start a new life here in the U.K; where he’s safe and can start afresh. If anything we have an obligation to take care of him after all the chaos, death and destruction we’ve caused in Iraq!
I’m so ashamed to be British right now. I refuse to partake in, or accept, the war in Iraq; a war in the name of British imperialism. We have blood on our hands, the very least we (you) can do now is protect the vulnerable from further abuse. I simply ask that you do not deport Rabar. I know you have the power to stop this travesty. I’m appealing to your good nature, with the hope that there is some justice and fairness in the world; listen to your heart, please do not send Rabar Hamad back to Iraq.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.