Girl, 16, faces deportation back to Sudan where she says her family ‘lived in fear’

Ann Bashir and her dad, who is feared to be dead in Sudan (Picture: SWNS)

Before fleeing Sudan at the age of 14, Ann Bashir lived in fear of being killed and raped after members of her family were detained for taking part in anti-government demonstrations.

Arriving in Britain more than two years ago, she has attended school in Hove, East Sussex, and is currently studying for her GCSEs.

Alongside her mum Giehan Yassi, and older sister Enji Bashir, she has integrated in the local community, learnt English and is now expected to achieve high grades in her exams.

At least that was until the Home Office rejected the family’s asylum claim arguing there is not ‘a serious enough risk or threat’ to their safety in Sudan.

One of Ann’s classmates, Otega Hugbo, speaks during the vigil (Picture: SWNS)

‘Since 2018 we have been unable to live safely in Sudan. We lived in fear of being killed, raped, threatened with detention and other things words cannot describe,’ the now 16-year-old said.

‘We never regretted standing up for freedom and justice for ourselves and Sudan.

‘Whenever we remember what happened, we describe it as a “nightmare that can never be forgotten”.

‘We were living a safe life before things became worse. In 2018, president Omar al-Bashir started to frustrate the country through his strict rules.

‘People had had enough of 30 years of dictatorship, arrests of political opponents, lack of freedom, poverty, hunger and high unemployment.

‘Sudanese people are scared of the Janjaweed – the secret service supported by the militia.’

Demonstrations across the country were met with violence and tear gas, leaving many dead or injured.

Ann’s mum Giehan and sister Enji – then just 16 – were detained for attending one of them in 2019.

Suella Braverman arrived in Rwanda on Saturday to reinforce the government’s commitment to deport some asylum seekers to the African country (Picture: AP)

Her dad – whose name is not being revealed – has not been heard from since the family fled the country.

His loved ones believe he was killed for his involvement in the nationwide rallies.

Despite this, the government is refusing to allow Giehan, Ann and Enji to continue living in the UK.

They were also forced to move from their home of two years in Hove to a mouldy detention accommodation in the capital last year after their application was rejected.

They insist the property is in such disrepair that they often have to wear masks.

As a result, Ann is forced to spend hours commuting from London to Brighton for school every day, for which the family

Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, said their case is irrefutable evidence that the UK’s asylum system is ‘broken’.

He said: ‘Ann is in her final year of study for her GCSEs and as part of the asylum system in this country she is allowed to appeal and continue to study.

‘To haul her out of Hove, where she has a huge circle of friends and support, drop her in Tower Hamlets and disrupt her studies at this crucial moment is a disgrace.

‘Ann could grow up to be a doctor, a scientist or a teacher and be something special to this country.

‘She needs to be allowed to finish her studies in Hove whilst her asylum claim continues.

More: News

‘The fact the Home Office has focused on a child with no father shows how broken the system is.

‘Is it not criminals we should be focusing on – not defenceless children, working hard to make something of their lives in exceptionally challenging circumstances?’

More than 300 students attended a vigil for Ann and her family earlier this week, which lasted for 33 minutes.

It signified the 33 days her sister Enji spent in jail at 16 simply for protesting.

The vigil was part of the SOS: Save Our Student campaign orchestrated by pupils at the Cardinal Newman school.

Principal Claire Jarman stressed that Ann deserves to at the least finish her full-time education in the country.

She said: ‘Ann does these two-hour daily commutes each morning but she is so focused and works so hard. She’s never late and she never misses a day of school.

‘She really hates this struggle and fears the consequences of being sent back to Sudan could be huge – deadly, even.

‘There is a 16-year-old girl at the heart of this who is dealing with unimaginable stress.

‘Imagine the stress of studying for your GCSEs, compounded by the fact that you might be sent back to somewhere potentially dangerous and the fact you do not even know if your dad is dead or alive in that country.

‘Stressful doesn’t really cut it – it’s unthinkable.’

A spokesperson for the Home Office refused to comment on the family’s claim.

They said all asylum applications are considered on their individual merits in line with the asylum rules and the evidence presented.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *