Unfortunately, the case of Umm Ruqaya is a common narrative amongst many of our families.
After fleeing dangerous political unrest in Algeria, Umm Ruqaya and her family came to England. New to this country, unable to speak English, 7 months pregnant and living with her husband and 1-year-old baby in a predominantly English area, Umm Ruqaya and her family sought a safer life. But they couldn’t have been more wronged.
One morning in 2005, the police raided her house. Out of utter shock and fear for her family’s safety, she fainted. Upon waking up she found her husband gone. He had been arrested under immigration laws for being a ‘threat to national security’.
From that day forward Umm Ruqaya was forced to fend for herself in an unfamiliar country with a language she couldn’t understand. Eventually her landlord asked her to leave the house after the birth of her child. She went to the Home Office to apply for leave to remain but had nowhere to stay after being evicted.
Umm Ruqaya went from home to home, taken in by sisters who were able to help even for short periods. Eventually the Home Office admitted responsibility and accommodated Umm Ruqaya in a hotel before relocating her to Leeds and then 3 months later to Manchester. The trauma of loosing her husband, being abandoned and helpless with no home or security led Umm Ruqaya to a nervous breakdown.
Life Under House Arrest
Eventually in 2007 her husband was released on bail under a SIAC deportation order. This meant he was released on harsh conditions including not being allowed computers, mobiles or visitors in the house and a curfew of up to 22 hours in the home. Life became increasingly difficult. Effectively being transferred from one prison to another, Umm Ruqaya’s husband was unable to work or practically help his wife in any of the day-to-day tasks such as shopping or taking the children to school. She remained solely responsible for taking care of the family and home.
But the pain didn’t end there.
Shortly after being released from prison, Umm Ruqayas’ husband was rearrested immediately after his court hearing. That night police raided the family home, scaring her young children and physically harming her. A few days later her husband was released without charge but the house raids continued. After being accused of tampering with his electronic tag, Umm Ruqayas’ husband was arrested and placed in prison, where he remains until today.
To this day Umm Ruqayas’ husband has never been charged, tried or even questioned, or been able to see the secret evidence that is the basis for his detention.
Like all our families, Umm Ruqaya and her children are very important and dear to us at HHUGS. We try to ease their burden by subsidising her financial needs such as relieving the burden of supporting her husband in prison, providing monthly shopping vouchers, and arrange , tuition for the children’s educational needs We also offer the emotional support and professional counselling she needs to retain hope in the future as well as facilitating recreational activities for the children to enjoy and mentors to support them in the absence of their father
” I ask all brothers & sisters to support and fund HHUGS because it is a great help to families like us. I urge them to provide moral and financial support so that HHUGS can keep helping others. HHUGS was the only solution to our problems. If people don't help HHUGS, families like us would be lost so we hope you contribute towards HHUGS financially. Various hardships and calamities are uplifted from a person who donates to a good cause. By donating to HHUGS we hope that HHUGS can have adequate funds to maintain their support for families like us.”