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Open letter sent to Home Secretary over asylum claim of 11-year-old with FGM protection order

Barristers, former judges, politicians and campaigners are among 300 people who have signed an open letter to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, urging her to grant asylum to an 11-year-old girl called Jasmine who, they say, is at high risk of female genital mutilation if she is returned to Bahrain or Sudan.

The letter states that Jasmine and her family are of Sudanese origin and hold only Bahraini citizenship. They have lived in the UK for almost eight years. Jasmine's mother applied for asylum in 2012 due to concerns that Jasmine would be cut if she was returned to Sudan or Bahrain. Her asylum claim was refused.

Jasmine told her teacher that she was worried about being removed from the UK. Jasmine's school contacted Suffolk County Council who then applied for an FGM Protection Order in the family court to protect Jasmine from FGM abroad.

After a court case that spanned over 12 months, Mr Justice Newton assessed the risk of FGM to Jasmine and found that "it is difficult to think of a clearer or more serious case where the risk to A [Jasmine] of FGM is so high. I find without hesitation overwhelmingly that there is a high risk of FGM to A [Jasmine]". The experts in the case gave their consistent opinion that Jasmine would suffer gravely if she was removed from the UK.

The writers call upon the Home Secretary "to show compassion and grant Jasmine and her family refugee status so that Jasmine can live safely in the UK without the risk of FGM".

For the letter, click here. For an article in The Guardian, which recently featured the case, click here. For a petition asking that Jasmine be allowed to stay in the UK, click here.

12/7/20