MPs warn woman could be killed if she is deported
PUBLISHED: 17:43 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:57 11 July 2018
Three Norfolk MPs have joined forces to pressure the Home Office into halting the imminent deportation of a pregnant Albanian woman who they fear could be murdered.
Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, South Norfolk’s Richard Bacon and George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, believe if the mother of one is forced to leave the UK she could be the victim of an honour killing.
It is believed the woman fled to the UK while pregnant around two years ago and although she has managed to integrate well in Norwich her application to remain has been turned down and no option for appeal has been given. She is also expecting her second child.
She was informed of the Home Office’s decision at the end of last week and given just seven days to leave.
During prime minister’s questions Mr Bacon asked: “Albania has one of the highest rates of honour killings in Europe. Will the government look very closely at the case of a woman who was staying in the constituency of the right honourable member for Norwich South and now, through the generosity of her therapist, is staying in South Norfolk in the therapist’s own house to reduce the risk of self harm and who if she was deported to Albania possibly as soon as tomorrow may be the victim of an honour killing.”
Speaknig to this paper Mr Bacon added: “I have written to the home secretary and raised it in the Commons. I have also spoken to the immigration minister and I am confident that Clive, George and myself will be granted a meeting to attempt to work this out.
“I was worried that the woman might actually be deported before we had a chance to look at the case more closely. I was worried we would be too late and she would be killed.
“And that is a serious possibility. In some of the rural areas in Albanian honour killings remain quite prevalent.
“Her therapist has been working with this woman for some time and since the threat of deportation emerged she offered to take her in. They were very worried about her self-harming.”
Across Albania honour killings have a long tradition. The Kanun is a set of Albanian laws and customs of which honour is one of the four pillars and is often used as mitigation for murder.
Mr Lewis said: “My constituent and her two-year-old child should never have been put at risk of deportation. Along with Chechnya, Albania, her country of origin, has one of the highest rates of honour killings in Europe.
“Her right to remain, for the sake of her mental health and that of her child, should be granted ASAP. It should not take a retired general to highlight the plight of this woman and make the government take action for her and many other women like her seeking asylum.”