Badly burned baby’s family vow to fight for residency

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THE family of a badly-burned baby have instructed lawyers to fight for his right to live permanently in Scotland.

Mohammad Sudais lost his family in a gas blast in Pakistan and is in a Glasgow hospital receiving treatment for 80% burns to his face.

The boy has a six-month emergency visa and campaigners anticipate that a “brutal” and “cruel” UK Home Office will try to send him home in August.

Mohammad is facing a life-time of surgeries to help repair the damage to his face
Mohammad is facing a life-time of surgeries to help repair the damage to his face

The four-month-old’s closest relative in Pakistan is his 85-year-old disabled grandmother.

Mohammad ‘s Glasgow-based aunt and uncle want to bring him up in Scotland.

Fraser Latta, a lawyer specialising in immigration law, has been instructed to submit a permanent residency application on behalf of Mohammad.

The boy, whose late parents were Afghan nationals, had surgery on Wednesday which his family said had gone well.

SCT_MOHAMMAD_SUDAIS_DN08
The lights are used to keep his eyes moving and moist

Mohammad was so badly-burned he cannot close his eyelids, meaning his eyes get very dry. Coloured lights have been strung above his bed to keep his eyes moving and reduce the dryness.

Robina Qureshi, director of the migrant and refugee charity, Positive Action, said: “The child is here on a medical visa which was supported by the Scottish Government.

“But when they applied for the visa, the red tape meant they had to give a return date for him because he is an Afghan refugee.

“Based on previous experience in similar cases, we expect to have to fight to be here.”

She added: “There have been many sad cases and the Home Office can be brutal and cruel. It’s not a devolved matter, it’s up to the Home Office.”

Mohammad with his uncle Mohammad at the hospital in Yorkhill
Mohammad with his uncle Mohammad at the hospital in Yorkhill

Ms Qureshi confirmed that Latta & Co had been instructed to submit a permanent residency application.

She said: “He has an 85-year-old grandmother back in Pakistan who is really in no fit state to look after him and so it’s felt that the best solution is to keep him here.

“He’s already been through and survived so much, he deserves the best possible outcome for the rest of his life. He’s only a baby.”

Mohammad is recovering in the high dependency unit at Yorkhill’s Canniesburn Unit with his uncle Mohammad Asif at his side.

The youngster was found in the ruined remains of his home in Pakistan on December 16
Mohammad was left with 80% burns from melting plastic

The boy stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated just hours before surgery was due to start.

The next 48 hours are said to be critical for the baby but the family are confident that he will recover well and say he is “so curious as to what is going on around him”.

A statement on the official Facebook page for the tot said: “Mohammad Asif and his family are grateful for the good wishes and messages of support from members of the public for Baby Mohammad.

“Baby is fine as of this morning and the family are comforted that he is in the safest place in the world for him right now in the high dependency unit. It is of course one day at a time.”

The boy’s uncle faced a race against time to bring his only surviving nephew over from Peshawar, Pakistan after a gas blast killed his family in December.

Father, Ameen, mother, Samaira and 13-month-old brother Abdul all died in hospital shortly after the explosion.

More than £15,000 has been raised so far to cover transport and the legal costs which are to come.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said they would be unable to comment until the application had been submitted and considered.

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