Published On: Fri, May 30th, 2014 on 7:03 pm

Mother in deportation fight Afusat Saliu ‘not in good shape’

Afusat Saliu

Afusat Saliu (far right)

A mother who fears her daughters will be subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) if she is sent back to Nigeria is ‘not in good shape’.

Afusat Saliu, 31, and her two daughters Bassy and Rashidat, were taken from their home in Leeds and had been due to leave on a Virgin Atlantic flight to Lagos yesterday but were given a last-minute deportation reprieve.

Anj Handa, a close friend of the family who is in contact with Ms Saliu, told the Yorkshire Standard: “Right now the situation hasn’t changed much. She has stayed another night but that hasn’t been any form of good will, because it doesn’t mean she is not going to be deported.

“I’ve talked to her today, and she is not in good shape.”

The mother-of-two fled from Nigeria in 2011 after a relative threatened to subject Bassy to FGM, which Ms Saliu objected to. She underwent FGM herself, but feared for her children so she fled her country.

Ms Handa, who assisted with finding a solicitor and working with him to prepare evidence, created a petition calling for the Home Office to halt the deportation. To date, it has gained over 120,000 signatures.

Solicitors have also appealed for a judicial review in an attempt to allow Ms Saliu to remain in the UK.

They say officials have ignored their own guidelines by ordering her deportation before the review is heard, and that her case does not seem to have been given ‘full consideration’.

Ms Handa added: “We’re trying everything we can to help right now. We’ve been getting the word out and even Richard Branson has supported. At the end of the day it’s only Theresa May who can intervene.”

It is believed Ms Saliu and her children are currently held at the family removal centre.

The Home Office said it does not comment on specific cases.

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

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