Help4RefugeeChildren is raising awareness for a family we have been working closely with for two years. Maryam and her husband came to Calais to escape the terror and oppression of their own countries. One month ago Maryam’s husband, who is from Afghanistan was arrested and detained. When Maryam, who is from Iran, visited her husband with their 8 month old baby, who was born in Calais, she was herself detained by the French authorities and had her baby taken away from her. Eventually Maryam was released and her baby returned to her.
Maryam’s husband now faces deportation to Afghanistan from France and their family is at risk of being torn apart. Please sign our petition to reunite Maryam and her baby with their husband.
The behaviour of the French authorities towards Maryam and her family has been absolutely scandalous. Maryam should never have been detained and separated from her baby.
We first met Maryam, when she was expecting her baby in ‘The old Jungle’ in Calais. This is an image (right) is of a later afternoon we spent in the company of Maryam and her warm family after the demolition that camp. Here we were in Dunkirk, were we also delivered among general aid such as food and clothing, lights and power banks to her and the families in then living in Dunkirk.
By sending Maryam’s husband to Afghanistan, the French authorities are putting his life at risk. Afghanistan is a country deemed high risk and one EU citizens are recommended not to travel to. There have been countless terrorist attacks throughout Afghanistan, wounding and killing many.
Travel to all areas of Afghanistan remains unsafe due to the ongoing risk of kidnapping, hostage taking, military combat operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and tribal groups, militant attacks, direct and indirect fire, suicide bombings, and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices (IED). Attacks may also target official Afghan and U.S. government convoys and compounds, foreign embassies, military installations, commercial entities, restaurants, hotels, airports, and educational centres.
There is a very real threat to the safety of Maryam’s husband if he is deported to Afghanistan and for this reason he should be offered refuge within Europe, he should not be sent back to a dangerous country.
Germany has paused its own deportation flights to Afghanistan and other European countries are considering the same move. British deportations resumed last year after the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Theresa May, then the Home Secretary, and declared Kabul safe for the return of refugees. However, despite the British Government declaring Kabul “safe” for asylum seekers, it does not apply the same designation for its own official staff. Government employees are kept inside the heavily guarded safe “green zone” whenever possible, being ferried around under armed guard if they are required to leave. The three-mile journey from British offices to Kabul airport is frequently made by helicopter because of dangers along the road. These double standards are completely unjust. Is the safety of British Government officials of greater importance than the safety of refugees?
We demand that the UK and France defer deportations until the situation in these countries improves.
The Help4Refugee Children Team