Author: Stacey Mullen
A SPRINGBURN minister has launched a petition to save a 10-year-old asylum seeker from being deported back to his country of birth.
Reverend Brian Casey is calling on people to support his petition which is addressed to the Home Secretary Sajid Javid and is asking for asylum to be granted to orphan Giorgi and his grandmother Ketino Baikhadze.
Mrs Baikhadze’s daughter Sopio fled to Scotland seven years ago after her late husband allegedly owed money to gangsters.
Sopio, known as Sophie, was awaiting the outcome of an appeal for asylum in the UK when she died in February after a long illness.
That left Mrs Baikhadze, who has lived illegally in Glasgow for 14 years, as the legal guardian of her grandson, who has been in the city since he was three.
The pair are now waiting for an initial decision on their applications for asylum.
Reverend Casey said: “Please help. Giorgi comes from Georgia, and his mother and he fled here when he was very very young. They fled because his life was in danger from gangsters who would either kill him or who would traffic him.
“They came to Scotland seeking safety and seeking assurances that they would be looked after and safe from violence.
“He is a very intelligent, funny, happy wee boy who knows nothing of Georgia and remembers nothing about Georgia
“Giorgi father died in Georgia and his mother sadly passed away.”
He added: “Now because his mother was in the middle of an asylum appeal, there is a possibility that Giorgi will be deported back to Georgia
“We are fighting to keep him here. The Home Office has brought forward an interview for Giorgi and his grandmother who is here now to seek asylum to look after Giorgi.
“I would ask you to fill in the petition to keep Giorgi here, to keep him safe, to show that we in Scotland welcome people with open arms when they seek our help.”
A Home Office spokesperson previously said: “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need our protection and every case is assessed on its individual merits.”