The Manukyan family must stay!
Family to be split and deported on 10th and 11th March to two different countries!
Kamo and Nonna Manukyan, and their children Arsen, 21, and Lusi, 20, have been told they must leave the UK on the 10th and 11th March. Nonna, Arsen and Lusi will have to return to the Republic of Armenia, and Kamo the Republic of Uzbekistan, meaning the family will be split.
‘It would be a terrible injustice if the Manukyan family is sent back to Uzbekistan.’ These are the words of former cabinet minister MP Stephen Byers, one of the many campaigning to keep the Manukyan family from being deported to Uzbekistan to suffer again the persecution that left them no choice but to flee. Since being in the UK Kamo and Nonna Manukyan, and their children Arsen, 21, and Lusi, 20 have made an outstanding contribution to their community, dedicating hours to volunteering and citizenship activities. They now need the support of their community for their safety.
The family, who are Christians, left Uzbekistan in 2007 after radical Muslims forced them to leave. Main applicants Nonna and Kamo used to run a cafe in the country’s capital, Tashkent. Lusi said: “They beat dad up and broke his leg. No-one did anything about it. Friends said we should leave the country.” The Home Office wants to send the family back to Uzbekistan, where Kamo has citizenship, or to Armenia, where Lusi, Arsen and Nonna are nationals, but the family fear being split up if they are returned to either country. If sent back to Uzbekistan, three of the family could then be removed to Armenia, while if the family are sent back to Armenia, father Kamo could be extradited to Uzbekistan. Son Arsen, a dependant of his parents, also risks being imprisoned upon return to Armenia for evading national service, despite having been in the care of his parents, exercising their internationally recognized right to seek protection in a safe country.
Friends and supporters point out that since arriving in Newcastle in 2007, each member of the Manukyan family has made an outstanding contribution to the community. Kamo and Nonna both volunteer at Age Concern in central Newcastle, while Kamo also volunteers at Home Company, which provides affordable housing and home improvements. Lusi and Arsen, meanwhile, have done thousands of hours of volunteering with regional and national youth organisations, including the North of England Refugee Service and the Sage, Gateshead. Lusi recently attended the Brighter Futures national conference in London, part of the international charity Save The Children. Wendy Brown, Youth Leadership Strand Leader at the Sage, Gateshead told a local newspaper: “She epitomizes everything that is good about young people in our society today.” Lusi, an aspiring doctor, earned top grades in her A Levels and was offered places at four Universities to study medicine and biochemistry. Arsen has graduated from an Art and Design Foundation Diploma Course at Newcastle College with a distinction and has been offered 4 offers to study a university degree in Art and become a successful fashion designer.
In light of the government’s well known obligation to promote community cohesion and harmony at home and human rights abroad, we the undersigned call upon the Home Secretary to reconsider the Manukyan family’s case and grant them leave to remain on Humanitarian grounds.