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Hamza is the oldest of four brothers who all attended Coláiste Éamann Rís in Cork. UCC Student Union/
direct provision

Campaign under way to save family living in Cork from being deported later this week

Two online petitions supporting the teenagers have had over 5,000 signatures.

A CAMPAIGN IS under way calling for a family living in Direct Provision in Cork to be saved from deportation. 

The Edmund Rice Schools network has thrown its support to the campaign for current and past pupils Hamza, Zubair, Umair and Mutjuba Khan to remain in Ireland along with their family.

Three of the boys attend Coláiste Éamann Rís in Cork while the eldest Hamza completed his Leaving Cert there last year before progressing to third level. He is now studying computer science having received a UCC Sanctuary Scholarship.

The Khans have lived in Direct Provision since arriving in Ireland in 2017. 

In a statement, the schools network said the family have been refused international protection with immediate effect and are facing deportation this Thursday. 

“All four boys are hard-working, promising academics and valued members of the Edmund Rice Schools community,” said Gerry Bennett, CEO of Edmund Rice Schools Trust.

We are really saddened by this decision. These boys are beating the odds every day by not just attending school but by studying hard and joining in all of the school’s activities. Their hope and dream is to be independent and fully contributing members of Irish society. This decision will have a catastrophic impact on their education and their emotional wellbeing, particularly as they have already endured the stress of leaving their home country.

The network said the family’s father Mubeen fled to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan to escape persecution in 1982. However, threatened with deportation back to Pakistan they left Saudi Arabia and travelled to Ireland via the UK.

“They are now being deported back to the United Kingdom as it was their first landing point in Europe, even though they have never lived there,” the schools network said.

The campaign for the family to remain is being supported by the boys’ school and the UCC Student Union. Two petitions calling on the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to intervene have had over 5,000 signatures.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice told that for “reasons of confidentiality [it] cannot comment on individual immigration or asylum cases”.

The spokesperson said: “However, more generally, it should be noted that the making of a transfer decision under the EU Dublin Regulation is not a deportation order. The Dublin Regulation determines which EU Member State is responsible for examining an international protection application.

“It is based on the principle that the first Member State to facilitate entry to the EU should be responsible for examining the protection application.  The objective of the Dublin Regulation is to ensure quick access to asylum procedures and the examination of an application on the merits by a single, clearly determined Member State.

A person can appeal a Dublin transfer decision to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT), who can affirm or set aside the decision. The vast majority of transfer decisions made in this country are to the UK. For clarity, a Dublin transfer decision does not involve returning the person to their home country. The person is simply transferred to the responsible EU Member State to have their international protection application examined.

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