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In the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal

Full Hearing-Thursday, 30 November 2009

Before the Immigration Judge

At AIT York House

Between

Applicant Ms. Sajwan Mohammed

And

Respondent Entry Clearance Officer

First Witness Statement of the Appellant’s

Mr. Yousif Al-Khoei OBE

I, Mr. Yousif Abual Qassim commonly known as Yousif Al-Khoei of 295
Church Lane, London, NW9 8JE make this statement believing the
same to be true.

1. I am a Director at the Al-Khoei Foundation in London, a major
international Islamic charity institute and socio-economic
foundation established in1989. This philanthropic foundation
operates a number of pioneering educational, social, and
religious programmes in the United Kingdom, as well as in New
York, Montreal, Paris, Bangkok, Islamabad and several other
worldwide locations. We also run a major Islamic centre that
facilitates religious marriages, runs a club for youths, and other
general functions relating to community cohesion.

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2. According to documents I have seen, I can confirm that Mr.
Mohammed Hazim married his wife Ms. Sajwan Mohammed on
the 6th of August 2007.

3. According to the court order from Karbala civil affairs court,
dated 15th of April 2009 and the Neekah certificate declared on
the 8th of October 2009, this marriage is genuine in accordance
to the Islamic jurisprudence.

4. Mr. Hazim informed me that he consulted an Iraqi family lawyer,
Mr. Mahmood Jabbar Al-Musawi about registering the Marriage
certificate. He took this action, because he did not possess the
Iraqi citizenship and he was not able to register the marriage
certificate in person. I understand that Mr. Al-Musawi advised
him that this is very dangerous, as members loyal to armed
militias were present at the hospital and would certainly harm
him, if they discovered that he is a British national. I confirm that
Mr. Hazim’s stipulation is feasible and accurate. In the 1980s
Saddam Hussain expelled en mass many Iraqis from the
country – this is well-documented in Human Rights reports; I
understand that Mr. Hazim’s Father and Mother fled Iraq in 1980
as a result of the aforementioned expulsions. Mr. Hazim was born
in 1983 outside Iraq and cannot show citizenship by birth or
descent since his parents were not married in Iraq. This made it
extremely difficult for Mr. Hazim to register his marriage, as Iraqi
courts did not recognise him as a citizen. Mr. Hazim was correct
in consulting an Iraqi lawyer, as he does not appear to have
knowledge of Iraqi law or Iraqi court procedure and because of
the extremely difficult situation in 2007, consulting a lawyer was
a necessity. It is also true that in 2007, a large number of civil
institutions including hospitals were occupied by ‘’Militia men’’.
My contacts in Iraq informed me that these groups were very
hostile and aggressive towards foreign nationals, especially
European/western nationals whom they would automatically
deem as servants of infidelity and agents of imperialism. I have
received letters from family victims which illustrates this fact.

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My contacts in Iraq also inform me that many of these foreign
nationals were in great danger of being kidnapped and executed
by armed militias . The Iraqi Army and police at times were
infiltrated by these ‘’Militia Men’’ and it was extremely difficult
for them to protect Iraqi citizens and Western nationals from the
militias.

5. Over the last few months, Mr. Hazim has become extremely
distressed with the prolonging of involuntary separation with his
wife, as he has great love and affection towards her. Mr. Hazim
is a decent young citizen, who completed the Legal practice
course in 2007 and is currently undertaking a Masters Degree, in
Social Sciences & Humanities at the University of Exeter. He is
also involved in community work, primarily as a sessional Muslim
chaplain at HMP Brixton and also assists in various community
projects and ventures. Mr. Hazim has informed me that his
spouse’s family have obtained a settlement visa to Sweden and
therefore have left her on her own at Karbala city. Therefore, she
will be left alone with no support. I wish to appeal to this
esteemed court to give sympathetic and compassionate
considerations to Ms. Sajwan Mohammed application and humbly
ask that her appeal be allowed, so that both parties can be
reunited and live as Husband and wife In the United Kingdom.

Signed: Dated:

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