CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Lesbian refugee who fled honour killing danger denied reunion with son

Woman who left Pakistan said she was forced into marriage

04 July, 2019 — By Tom Foot

A LESBIAN mother who fled Pakistan after suffering years of abuse has been her son cannot follow her into this country

Ms Mohammed, who has been supported by the Crossroads Women’s Centre in Kentish Town, was immediately granted refugee status in 2016 because of the threat to life in her homeland.

Her daughter was also able to come and live here but her 25-year-old son has been refused a “family reunion” by the Home Office because he is too old.

Ms Mohammed, who does not want to be fully named, said he is in “grave danger” from an honour killing after he tried to stood up for her.

Her other daughter has already disappeared without trace and her son has been forced to runaway from home, according to a statement to the authorities.

“I last saw my son in 2013, but in my dreams it is every night,” she told the New Journal, speaking in Kentish Town this week. “He is moving place to place. Sometimes he doesn’t have anywhere to sleep. It is not safe there, no one is safe. I need him to be here with me.  If my son is killed by his own father it will just be another death in the name of fake family honour.”

Under Home Office rules, siblings above 18 years old will only have so-called “family reunion” applications if there in exceptional circumstances.

Ms Mohammed is living with her youngest daughter – who has been allowed to live in this country – in temporary accommodation. Her other daughter has disappeared and she fears she has been killed.

Despite being lesbian, she said she was forced into marriage for 11 years, adding: “I was abused with physical and mental torture. My son saw everything. He was feeling the pain when they were beating me, but he was not able to do anything.”

Ms Mohammed, who has has had treatment for cervical cancer, has a GP report showing how the process was affecting her mental and physical health.

Campaigners say Ms Mohammed’s case highlight the way the hostile immigration environment is targeting women.

The Home Office judgment said: “I have seen no evidence that this refusal would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for you or your family. I am satisfied that such a requirement is not unreasonable and would not result in unjustifiably harsh consequences. There are no compassionate factors in your case that warrant a grant of entry clearance.”

Ms Mohammed has been granted legal aid funding to fight the decision because of her “exceptional circumstances”.

An appeal will be heard at tribunal in August.

More than 100 women come to the women’s centre in Kentish Town each month for help to fight their asylum and immigration cases.

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