Grimsby campaign helps block family deportation

By Sarah Lagan

The Grimsby Telegraph has temporarily saved a family from being
deported to Pakistan where they claim they face the threat of “almost
certain death”.

Sibtain Bokhari is a leading human rights lawyer and when working in
Pakistan he angered an extreme religious group which he said has placed
him on a hit list. He fled the country with his family and has been
living in Grimsby for 18 months.

Bokhari is a governor at the school his children attend and is training to become a teacher along with his wife.

But on 10 March the family were taken to Yarlswood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire.

Their
supporters contacted the Northcliffe paper warning the family was to be
deported imminently. Within hours the Telegraph had launched a front
page campaign to keep the Bokharis in the UK.

Later the same day it heard there had been a reprieve and the family had been released on bail pending a review.

Editor
Michelle Lalor said: “We have received much praise for our handling of
the story and the way we have helped to secure the release of the
Bokhari family.

“But the Telegraph did not do this for praise, it
simply acted as any reasonable body would have done, to secure the
freedom of a community-minded family who have a positive role to play
in the future of our area.

“We only hope now that we can secure their permanent residency in Great Britain.”

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