- UNHCR Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Migration Authorities
A former Muslim wife that converted to Christianity now faces deportation after receiving death threats from her family.
Safiya Ahmed Abdul Razzaq Waheed (41 yrs) first became interested in Christianity whilst training as a beautician, from her colleagues 21 years ago in Ajman, UAE.
She was still secretly reading the bible when she married her family friend, and car accessory shop owner, Abdul Waheed Noor Islam (45 yrs), in 2002.
Her husband threatened to divorce his wife after she divulged her conversion to him but changed his mind, for the sake of their daughter, Warda, (16 yrs) and son Saif, (3 yrs), despite demands via his family in Bangladesh. Mr Noor gradually became more tolerant of his wife practicing her new faith, even allowing her to attend church with their daughter over time.
The couple lived a relatively happy life despite receiving death threats from Safiya’s Pakistani family if she went back to Pakistan, until Mr. Waheed’s business partner and sponsor, Mr. Abdullah Khalifa, (45 yrs), refused to renew their business shop licence after learning of Safiya's conversion from Islam. The family became increasingly fearful of being arrested for their apostasy in a country that outlaws leaving Islam.
Fearing arrest, the family escaped to Azerbaijan on a tourist visa but as their savings were running out just before their visa expired the couple sought the help of a Pakistani Muslim friend, Ali Abbas (39).
Mr. Abbas further advised that they would be allowed to stay in Azerbaijan if they invested $15,000 in a business that had to be registered. he proposed to first list the new business in his own name, as he had a business visa, and promised to transfer the ownership back to them at a later date. Mr. Abbas has since disappeared and is not returning Mr Noor's calls.
The family have since been refused visas from their countries of origin, Bangladesh and Pakistan and have also been refused asylum in Azerbaijan and initially faced a demoralising deportation on 9th September, after having been there for 15 months. Since then however, through the efforts of BPCA and other humanitarians an extension of one month has been given to the family giving them a real sense of hope:
We the undersigned seek the termination of deportation process by Azerbaijan Migration authorities for Safiya Noor and her family.
We call for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to recognise the Noor family for urgent protection based on the extreme danger faced by converts from Islam in Pakistan and Bangladesh highlighted in the BPCA Country Expert Report submited to UNHCR and to Azerbaijan authrorities.
We ask for Canada or any other nations that offers sponsorship programs for asylum seekers and refugees to fast-track an application for the noor family.
The Stop deportation and give asylum to Safiya and her family petition to UNHCR Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Migration Authorities was written by Wilson Chowdhry and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.