Pakistani activist says he could face death penalty if UK deports him

Azeem Wazir
Azeem Wazir

A CHRISTIAN man is fighting a Home Office decision to deport him, saying he feared for his life if he returned back to Pakistan.

Azeem Wazir arrived in Bristol four years ago after he was accused of dishonouring Islam. Multiple fatwahs were issued against him for his involvement in a campaign called “Stop Killing Christians”.

Wazir is currently being held in Colnbrook immigration removal centre after being arrested last week.

He fears he could be given death penalty for blasphemy or would be murdered by Islamic extremists if he returned to Pakistan.

An online petition calling to reconsider Wazir’s deportation has been signed by more than 7,600 people. The petition says that Wazir is “a warm and loving member of the community and has served in local church and community life”.

Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, tweeted: “Very disturbed to hear that Bristol resident and campaigner for #AsiaBibi Azeem Wazir is being threatened with imminent deportation. I’m joining with the many others calling on @Sajidjavid to halt this deportation and reconsider Azeem’s asylum case.”

Efforts to stop Wazir’s deportation gained momentum after Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman who spent nearly a decade in prison for allegedly insulting Islam, flew to Canada to start a new life.

Asked about Wazir’s case, a Home Office spokesperson said it did not comment on individual cases.

The spokesperson said: “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need our protection. Each case is assessed on its merits and individuals have the right to appeal to an independent immigration court. Where a decision has been made that a person does not require international protection, removal is only enforced when we and the courts conclude that it is safe to do so, with a safe route of return.

“We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”