In an attempt to prevent an Iraqi Christian who fled Islamic State jihadist from being returned to his home country, the archbishop of Canterbury has intervened by writing a letter in support of the man ahead of an appeal against his rejected asylum claim, adding that he supported his application to remain in the UK.
The second letter was sent last week by the archbishop’s interfaith adviser, Mark Poulson who endorsed an appeal for asylum by the man, who had met him and the archbishop while he was working as a volunteer. Unfortunately, the man has already had two appeals against his rejected asylum application turned down and is seeking permission for a third appeal. Earlier this month, he was told to report to a Home Office center every fortnight, failure to which he would risk being held in a detention center.
Welby’s letter, dated 28 September, said that he had been impressed with his positive attitude, quality of his work and integrity. Adding that the man is clearly someone who intends to contribute to the society and that he would be a great asset to the United Kingdom. The man is a Syrian Orthodox Christian.
The man and his immediate family fled their home in the Iraqi city of Mosul back in the August of 2014 after Islamic State Jihadist seized control of the area. They were among the more than 100,000 Christians and Yazidis who fled north to the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan after Isis fighters threatened to kill any non-Sunni who remained in the city.
Having made his way to Britain on a student visa, he applied for an asylum after his student visa expired in 2015 May. Unfortunately, his family spent a year living in a church basement in Irbil along other displaced families.
Poulson’s letter emphasizes that they had been impressed by his willingness to spend time helping others despite his own distressing situation. Judge Clive Lane dismissed the man’s second appeal in October by agreeing with the previous ruling that the appellant would be able to join his family, who appear to live in safety in Irbil. However, the man’s solicitor, Susan Liew, is seeking permission to appeal against Lane’s ruling as he points out to the fact that it was erroneous, perverse and irrational to believe he could be relocated to Kurdistan given that his family is still living in a church basement.