Afghan judge fleeing Taliban appeals after Home Office denied entry to UK | home office


A former senior judge from Afghanistan who is hiding from the Taliban with her son has filed an appeal with the Home Office after her application to enter the UK was refused.

Lawyers for the woman – who goes by the surname ‘Y’ – said on Saturday they had filed an appeal on behalf of their client and her son in immigration court, claiming she had been left in a “gravely vulnerable position” by the withdrawal of British and other Western troops.

They said the UK government’s decision had prevented them from joining British members and family members settled in the UK who said they were ‘very scared that she would kill herself’.

The woman, 52, and her son, 24, fled Afghanistan and are hiding in Pakistan after their home in Kabul was attacked and several of her former colleagues were killed, her lawyers said in a statement. .

There are believed to be around 70 female Afghan judges in Afghanistan, and around 70 others who have escaped but are in similar conditions to Y.

Katie Newbury, a partner at Kingsley Napley, the firm which represents her, said mother and son ‘are not safe where they are now and have close family in the UK willing to support them “.

“Since November, we have repeatedly sued the Home Office for a decision given the precarious situation,” she wrote on Twitteradding that the Interior Ministry had “dragged its feet”.

At one point, she said they were told the delays were due to the redirection of resources to Ukraine. After nine months, the requests were refused. The appeal should take months.

“The continuing toll of this delay is heartbreakingly described by Y’s nephew in the UK,” Newbury said, quoting him.

“The long delay and now the refusal is exacerbating the pressures and poor mental health of my aunt and her son in Pakistan and all of our family in the UK. My aunt has been in very poor mental health for a few months and we are very afraid that she will commit suicide”.

Y’s legal team said his successful career over two decades in the Afghan justice system included senior positions in the criminal justice system and tried cases involving crimes such as murder, rape, violence against women, terrorism offenses and conspiracy against the Afghan government.

She was also responsible for security cases involving members of the Taliban who have since been released and have roles in the new government.

His applications, filed in November, included arguments based on Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights, the right to respect for private and family life.

Her lawyers believe she met the eligibility criteria for resettlement in the UK during the initial evacuation, but was not called up, possibly following an administrative error.

Oliver Oldman, an associate of Kingsley Napley, told the Guardian the former judge and her son were only able to continue living in their flat because of the landlord’s goodwill.

The owner faced criminal penalties and they live “under the daily threat of being discovered by the Pakistani authorities”, he said.

If discovered, they will “almost inevitably” be deported to Afghanistan where they run a “high probability” of being killed.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The UK is playing a leading role in the international response to support Afghan citizens at risk and has made one of the largest resettlement pledges of any country.

“This includes welcoming over 21,000 Afghan women, children and other at-risk groups to the UK through a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.”

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