As you will see from the press statement below, an application for interim measures has been made to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Afusat and her daughters. Legal professionals have been working their socks off over the last few days. They are a legal dream team comprising of three highly experienced, compassionate and dedicated ladies.
Felicity has been my ‘go to’ person since I met her in January and I’m delighted that she’s now formally involved. I’m also amazed by Helen and Bhumika’s efficiency. They came with an offer of help, knowing that no funding was available. All have busy practices and yet have willingly given their time and expertise. I am currently investigating a fighting fund to cover some of the actual costs involved.
Afusat is obviously feeling very anxious at the moment and I’m afraid will not be available for interviews. I will be sure to keep you updated through this blog and via the lovely folk at Change.org. While I’m on the thank yous, I’d also like to thank my business partner, Jean, who has worked with me late into the night on this. This whole experience has been such a lesson in the goodness of humanity to me (I’ve brushed off the negative energies). Every day, someone new comes forward with an offer of support in some way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
An urgent application has been faxed to the European Court of Human Rights to keep Afusat Saliu and her two young girls in the UK.
The legal team acting on behalf of Afusat have today urged the court to issue an immediate order for interim measures in accordance with Rule 39 of the Court’s rules of procedure to prevent the family’s deportation until it has fully assessed her case to stay in the UK.
The application has been submitted on the basis that the pending deportation order gives rise to a serious and imminent risk for the family. Afusat is fighting to protect her daughters from the risk of Female Genital Mutilation if returned to Nigeria.
Campaigner and champion of the family, Anj Handa of People Help People, said: “The UK Government has a stated aim of eradicating FGM in the UK and abroad. We are appealing for them to really look at Afusat’s case and demonstrate leadership on this issue to the world.
“We will continue the legal battle and wish to see that human rights prevail.”
Bhumika Parmar, Principal and Solicitor at BP Legal, said: “”We are in the process of submitting all the supporting documents to the European court and have notified the Home Office. We are now awaiting news and are optimistic that we will be successful.”
The campaign backing Afusat’s right to remain in the UK has already seen over 114,000 people lending their support on the petition platform change.org/Afusat.
Afusat is currently awaiting news at her home in Leeds. Helen Duffy of Human Rights in Practice, based in The Hague, will represent Afusat in European Court proceedings and high-profile barrister, Felicity Gerry QC has also been instructed.