Sign Petition

SAVE FOZIA AND NAWAZ FROM 'HONOUR' CRIME

Revive supporting refugees and  asylum seekers  .
Revive supporting refugees and asylum seekers .
981 Signatures Goal: 900

FOZIA HANIF AND NAWAZ KHAN

Fozia and Nawaz are a married couple in grave danger of so-called 'honour killing' if returned to Pakistan. They face community persecution and extreme violence from Fozia's family because they have resisted the marriage her family forced on her. Yet UKBA refuses their asylum claim and is intent on deporting them.


Love versus forced marriage

Fozia is a Syed Shia, Nawaz a Sunni. Well-established and successful in business, the professions, and politics across Pakistan, Syed are regarded as an elite caste. Syed girls are not allowed to marry outside the kinship group, and certainly not to a Sunni.

In 2005 Fozia's home town of Muzaffarabad was struck by an earthquake, in which 150,000 people, including 28 members of her extended family, were killed. Fozia was dug out of the debris. Nawaz was in one of the volunteer team rescue teams, working alongside the Red Cross and UNICEF. They fell in love across the religious divide. Their love match was furiously opposed by Fozia's family, one of the most powerful Syed families in Muzaffarabad. If a suitable match of her own age cannot be arranged, a Syed girl is expected to remain unmarried or marry an already married or widowed man. For Fozia's family, family honour counts for more than anything in the world. In 1992 her cousin, Rehana, was killed by her family, as was the outsider boy she eloped with, with the police watching.

Family retribution

Fozia is the first girl in her family to be allowed a university education. When she went to Islamabad University, she and Nawaz continued to meet. However, Fozia's mother discovered their relationship and she was removed from the university, beaten, and locked up.
Fozia was allowed to return only after promising never to see Nawaz again. A sympathetic cousin advised the couple that the only way to be together was to leave the country, and offered to help Fozia to apply for a student visa in return for money raised by selling a plot of land belonging to Nawaz. Matters came to a head when Fozia was suddenly informed she was to be forced to marry a cousin, a widower with five children. Though desperately upset and resistant, Fozia's pleas were ignored.When Nawaz's family came to the house with a proposal of marriage on his behalf, they were insulted and physically driven away. When a date was announced for the marriage to the widower cousin, Fozia, in front of her assembled family, declared her refusal to marry him, and was badly beaten. The next night, 10 March 2009, she fled, joining Nawaz in Lahore. Here she was hospitalized with the injuries inflicted by her family. Meanwhile the family informed the police that Nawaz had kidnapped her and bribed them to set off a full-scale search.

Forced to flee

The couple rented a small house in Kasoor, but became alarmed when Fozia was recognised by a driver working for her family's nationwide coach business. Police searched neighbouring houses, and Nawaz's younger brother and uncle were beaten up for information on where all Nawaz's relatives lived. Their lives now in grave danger, the couple married on 8 April 2009 in Lahore, with Fozia making a public declaration that she married Nawaz of her own free will. Her cousin advanced the money for a student visa and air tickets to remove Fozia from danger, and she flew from Islamabad to Manchester, arriving on 10 April 2009. Here she began degree level studies. Back in Pakistan, Fozia's family, mad with rage, incited the police to issue a series of arrest warrants for Nawaz on charges of abduction. The final one meant that he could be shot on sight. At the same time Nawaz's family, blaming him for the strife and humiliation they now faced, publicly disowned him. On 27 July 2009, in a barber's shop, Nawaz was recognised by the husband of a cousin of Fozia's and received head injuries in a violent attack. After hiding with a friend in Taliban country, and selling his plot of land to pay the helpful cousin, Nawaz obtained a visa as a student dependent of Fozia, and, now a wanted man flew to Manchester on 25 February 2010. Reprisals against his family continued, including throwing acid in his sister's face. Fozia and Nawaz claimed asylum, on the advice of a doctor, on 17 August 2010. The following month the claim was dismissed by UKBA. The appeal process terminated in April 2012. Since then 'wanted' posters have been seen in Lahore targeting Nawaz for the abduction of Fozia, and there have been dramatic examples in the press of the grave risk faced by Pakistani couples defying family honour and making a 'mixed' i.e.interfaith, marriage.

Dawn raid and detained

Before a new submission could be made Fozia and Nawaz were detained pending forcible deportation.UKBA came to the house at 5.00 a.m., while the couple were sleeping. Fozia, who now suffersfrom acute anxiety and depression, was terrified to find UKBA officials round their
bed. They were handcuffed and transported in a prison van to Yarl's Wood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire. Fozia suffers from a painful pelvic condition, as well as trauma-induced depression and self-harming. Detention prevented her from attending necessary medical and psychiatric appointments arranged in Manchester. In fact Fozia was denied medication for a month: her own medication was taken from her and, because her crutches were removed, she
was unable to walk to the medical centre where medication is controlled and dispensed. For the same reason she was denied access to the dining room. The treatment the couple received from the SERCO staff running Yarl's Wood was inhuman and degrading. Honest , truthful, human beings fleeing extreme danger and claiming protection under international law are treated like criminals.

Further submissions summarily rejected

While Fozia and Nawaz were in detention, UKBA received their new submission and summarily rejected it without the 'anxious scrutiny' required by law, dismissing evidence of 'wanted' posters as 'hearsay'. Under threat of judicial review, actioned by Bury Law Centre, UKBA agreed to reconsider the submission. The couple were released on bail and were returned to Manchester, where they await a further UKBA decision. Over the last 12 months there havebeen multiple accounts of violence, acid attacks, and 'honour killings' in Pakistan inflicted by families on their own sons and daughters for defying family coercion and 'disgracing' them. There are cases of honour killings within police custody, or even in court with judges and police looking on. It is nonsense to speak of 'sufficiency of state protection' or ease of re-location. Wherever people go there is police registration and the police often act as instruments of family coercion against the victims. The cases reaching the newspapers are only a fraction of those taking place. When UKBA tells Fozia and Nawaz 'there no reasons to believe you are going to be subjected to risk upon return to Pakistan' it flies in the face of the reality everyone knows. They should be granted asylum on the grounds that in such cases Pakistani women are members of a persecuted social group within the meaning of the 1951 Refugee Convention, orgranted humanitarian protection under the European Convention and the UK Human Rights Act on the grounds of high risk of serious or lethal harm if returned.

In July 2014 twin daughters were born to Fozia and Nawaz in Manchester.

Independent verification from Pakistan

('Revive' charity who helping Asylum seekers and refuges in Manchester www.revive-uk.org).

Has obtained copies of court papers from the court in Lahore showing that the man Fozia was forced to marry is claiming conjugal rights and that if returned Fozia would be accused of adultery. Independent sources confirm that the opposite party are 'vicious and vindictive and have gone to enormous lengths and expense to try to get her back: there is no doubt that if Fozia were to come back her life would be in real danger.'

Drafted with Fozia and Nawaz by Wilfred Hammond, volunteer adviser at 'Revive' Salford.

Take action

1. Write a letter of protest to the Home Secretary,Theresa May.If you
are sending letters or faxes, remember to sign and date the letters. If you
receive any response from the Home Office, please let us know via
wilfanne@hotmail.com/Contact Petition Sponsor

Theresa May, MP

Secretary of State for the Home Office

2 Marsham Street

London SW1 4DF

Fax 020 7035 4745 (00 44 20 7035 4745 if you are faxing from outside UK)

Email: mayt@parliament.uk

pscorrespondence@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

Privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk


2. Write to your local MP

Request that your local MP show their support for Nawaz and Fozia's case.

If you are sending letters or faxes,

remember to sign and date the letters. If you receive any response from your
MP, please let us know via wilfanne@hotmail.com/Contact Petition Sponsor

Please send the letter to the MP for
the area in which you live. An MP will only take up an issue which effects or
is a concern of the people living in their constituency. If you do not live in
the same constituency as Nawaz and Fozia (Eccles Manchester)

you can still contact your MP

3. Sign the petition and show your support.

SPONSOR

Wilfred Hammond, volunteer adviser at 'Revive' Salford. Email: wilfanne@hotmail.com

LINKS

Nawaz and Fozia interview follow links below.

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/04/508801.html

http://www.jaack.eu/post/47399036730/love-across-t....

Sponsor

Wilfred Hammond, volunteer adviser at ‘Revive’ Salford.And youth group salford Email: wilfanne@hotmail.com

Links

Nawaz and Fozia interview follow links below.

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/04/508801.html

http://www.jaack.eu/post/47399036730/love-across-the-faith-divide

  • samuel
    samuel United Kingdom, Salford
    Sep 12, 2015
    Sep 12, 2015
    I cannot believe this cruelty ,it breaks my heart to see a girl killed for loving a man!
    This has nothing to do with Islam laws or any laws that exist . If this is what religion is for real then it's better to believe in nothing!!
  • sara jane
    sara jane United Kingdom, Salford
    Sep 12, 2015
    Sep 12, 2015
    There is No Honor in Killing: so
    plz
    plz
    plz
    Stop Honor Killing
  • fiona ward
    fiona ward United Kingdom, Salford
    Sep 12, 2015
    Sep 12, 2015
    plz save them
  • arek
    arek United Kingdom, Salford
    Sep 12, 2015
    Sep 12, 2015
    Dear Sir or Madame,
    Honor killing, or the practice of killing a family member because she was believed to have brought “shame” to the family, takes place most often in Muslim communities and in both in third-world and developed countries, such as North America and Europe. Most often the victim is a girl or young woman who had not committed any actual crime.

    The victim may be tortured and killed in a horrific manner, such as by decapitation, being burned alive, and being stoned to death. The only acts she may have done to deserve such a terrible death may have been wearing clothing that was considered “too revealing”, dating someone outside of the family’s religion or culture, and even being the victim of a rape.

    These terrible and senseless killings against girls and women should not still be taking place today. In order to attempt to combat this severe problem, more people around the world need to be convicted of honor killings and be given longer jail sentences. In addition, education programs need to be conducted around the world that teach that honor killings are wrong and unacceptable no matter what religion one participates in or area the individual lives in.

    Sincerely,
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981

Signatures

  • 5 months ago
    Daniel McCulloch United Kingdom
    5 months ago
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    samuel United Kingdom
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    manaser United Kingdom
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    DAVID United Kingdom
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    sara jane United Kingdom
    5 months ago
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    sadi nasir United Kingdom
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    fiona ward United Kingdom
    5 months ago
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    arek United Kingdom
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    2 years ago
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