Monday 21st March 12-1.30pm
Leeds No Borders monthly protest outside Waterside Court, Kirkstall Road.

Sunday 17th January 5pm...
Leeds Town Hall
The Syrian community of Leeds is organising a vigil on Sunday the 17th of January 2016 at Leeds Town Hall LS1 3AD at 5pm .The vigil is to uplift the siege off the people in Madaya whom been without any food supply for more than 6 months. Children and babies do not have any milk or food. The death toll is massive. This is the worst humanitarian crisis and war crime since the Nazi camps in the second world war. This siege is being carried out by Bashar Al Assad regime and Allah party and their allies. We hope you can support us in our vigil and please bring with you led candles as they can stand the weather and they are not expensive.
12 January 2016:
An update on the case, no major news. Raja is now with a legal aid lawyer as the right to appeal her refusal means the right to legal aid too which is good. She is now just waiting for a date for the appeal hearing - and it may be months before this happens.

Really big thanks for your continued interest - it makes all the difference to Raja and Mahmoud knowing that there are so many people out there supporting them and caring about what happens.

24 November 2015:
Tell your MP that Sanctuary is coming to Westminster




13 November 2015:
One PAFRAS's clients and her young son are at risk of forced removal from the UK. Some friends of hers have started a petition which we'd like to encourage you to have a look at.
29 October 2015:
Refugees and Asylum Seekers - How you can help
Please see https://leedsmultiagency.wordpress.com/help/ for further information
Muhammad has been released
We are delighted to be able to tell you that Muhammad has been released from detention.
Huge thanks to you all for your support, which has made a huge difference. Without pressure on MPs, Muhammad would have been deported last month. Instead, he is coming back to stay with us in Leeds and has a new solicitor who is an expert in trafficking cases.
We can only hope that the Home Office will now properly consider all of Muhammad's evidence, and that both the Home Office and police learn from his case and treat future trafficking cases with the sensitivity and thoroughness they need and deserve.
For now, thank you again, from us and from Muhammad.
Yoshiko and Jack
27 October 2015:
Muhammad is not being deported tonight.
Once again, the pressure on the Home Office has led to his ticket being cancelled.
Muhammad’s new solicitors are experts in human trafficking; he is in good hands. Furthermore, an investigation has now been launched into why his case has not been properly considered by the relevant authorities.
His solicitors are now working very hard to get him out of detention, but he remains in Harmondsworth where he has been for well over a month now. His ongoing detention exemplifies a system that is not working and that is failing the very people it purports to serve.
It should also be noted that despite the tragic earthquake which affected the region yesterday (including the rural areas around Rawalpindi where Muhammad comes from) there is still a charter plane full of people being deported scheduled to fly from Heathrow to Islamabad at 22:30 this evening. These flights take place late at night on private aircraft without public scrutiny.
20 October 2015:
URGENT: Stop Muhammad from being deported on 27/10/15
Yoshiko Stokoe
United Kingdom

20 Oct 2015 — Despite being deemed “manifestly unfit to fly” a month ago, Muhammad has received new removal directions from the Home Office. He is once again scheduled to fly on a charter plane, at 10.30pm on Tuesday 27th October.
Muhammad has an excellent new solicitor who is working on his case with a leading expert in combatting human trafficking. He is in very good hands and they think that he has a strong case. There is very firm evidence that Muhammad is a victim of human-trafficking. However, the Home Office have repeatedly not taken this evidence into account and are now trying again to forcibly remove Muhammad from the country.
Your help has been extremely valuable so far. Indeed, it was the intervention of MPs after receiving your emails that led to him being taken off the first flight. We have drafted some new template emails which you can find in the link below and would be very appreciative if you could send them to put pressure on MPs. We need to make sure that Muhammad is not on the charter plane on the 27th October so that his case can receive a fair hearing.

Thank you



6 October 2015:


One of our volunteers, Paul Priest, sadly died recently.  Please read a tribute here. 


5 October 2015:

Action needed now to prevent more destitution of asylum seeking families by the Immigration Bill

The Second Reading of the Immigration Bill will take place on Tuesday 13 October. The Bill includes changes to asylum support which will result in children and their parents, who have been refused, being left without access to food or a roof over their heads, let alone medicines, clothes or books.

Organisations and individuals are encouraged to write to MPs now and ask them to raise concerns about measures in the Bill when it is debated at Second Reading. 

Please see the following link for further information:




Leeds Stand Up to Racism Rally – Refugees Are Welcome Here

To mark UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and Discrimination, and in solidarity with the national Stand Up to Racism convoy to Calais, there will be a rally in Leeds.

Saturday 17 October, 3pm, assemble Leeds City Museum steps (Millennium Square), Leeds LS2 8BH.

Leeds Welcomes Refugees meeting at Mill Hill Unitarian Chapel, City Square, Leeds- 21 October at 5.30pm

16 August 2015:

Cuts to Asylum Support
On 10th August 2015, the Home Office introduced a new flat rate of asylum support for all people seeking asylum of £36.95 per week, regardless of age. This is a devastating blow for families. The change has resulted in a cut in support to children seeking refugee protection of £16.00 per week and will push vulnerable people further into poverty.


On top of this, the government is now consulting on plans to cut off support for refused asylum seeking families, a measure that will leave vulnerable families totally without any means of support, with no money for food and no accommodation.

Currently, 51% of the world’s refugees are under 18. These children have been born into situations we can hardly imagine; the early years of their lives destroyed by war, torture and persecution and their lives in the UK often overshadowed by uncertainty and anxiety about the future. We are concerned that these new measures will force children and vulnerable adults who have sought safety in the UK further into poverty and utter destitution, breaking our commitment to welcoming refugees and safeguarding vulnerable children.

We all want to live in a society that treats those who’ve fled war, torture and persecution with dignity and respect. It’s time to stand up for the rights of refugee children and make our voices heard!

Here's what you can do today:

Write to your MP today! You can find out who your MP is at http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/. Ask them to sign EDM 344 (http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/344) and to write to the Immigration Minister – James Brokenshire – to voice their concerns. The Regional Asylum Activism Project have created a Model Letter for you to use (please see the AJAR Leeds website). Please let us know when you hear back from your MP.

Respond to the consultation! Make sure the Home Office know what you think of these plans by submitting a response to the consultation. And why not send a copy to your MP? Find links to our briefing on the Regional Asylum Activism website http://regionalasylumactivism.org/home/council-motions-against-destitution/

Talk to the Media! Get out there and explain what a devastating blow these proposals are for vulnerable families. 

Leeds City of Sanctuary will be responding to the consultation.  If you would like to contribute to our response or would like more information about the consultation, please email hello@leeds.cityofsanctuary.org




14 August 2015:

There is going to be a parliamentary debate on the detention inquiry report on 10 September 2015. 

Contact your local MP and urge her/him to support the recommendations of the detention inquiry report and attend the debate. 




For more information, please see http://detentionforum.org.uk/parliamentary-debate-on-the-detention-inquiry-report-10-sep-this-is-what-you-need-to-know/



The Detention Forum http://detentionforum.org.uk/

26 June 2015
Raja and Mahmoud have been released from detention on bail J

24 June 2015

The judge has ruled that the forced removal of Raja and Mahmoud scheduled for 25 June cannot go ahead!

Slightly earlier Qatar Airways had said they wouldn't fly them anyway!

Amazing news and massive massive thanks to everyone who has pulled together and brought this about. Raja was in tears of joy and relief hearing the news and hopefully will sleep tonight for the first time in a while!

This is just the start of the legal fight though because the permission hearing was not done today - it ended up only being about whether the removal should go ahead. We are now awaiting a date for a permission hearing to see whether a judicial review can be made on the case so please keep in touch as we will need all the support we can get.

Many thanks for your support

Stop the forced removal of Raja Khouja and Mahmoud Alhassan.
Thank you to everyone who came to the demonstration (22nd June) to show their love and support for Raja and Mahmoud. 
Please see http://allhallowsleeds.org.uk/2015/06/21/raja/ for other ways in which you can also help.
URGENT: Stop the removal of Raja Khouja

Please sign the petition at


Raja Khouja, a women's rights campaigner from Syria, is detained at Yarl's Wood and threatened with removal to Saudi Arabia on Thursday 25th June 2015.

Raja (aged 56) is a member of the Syrian Republican Party and was involved in human rights activism on the internet, focused on the wider Arab world. She has written many times about her views on the denial of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Mutawa (the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice) has denounced her and she has received email and phone call threats of death, imprisonment and mutilation including for ‘the opposite limbs to be cut off the body' were she ever to go to Saudi Arabia, the very country to which she is to be removed.

Raja is a Syrian national who has been living in Leeds, UK, with her Saudi husband Mahmoud Alhassan (aged 67) for four years. They were stranded in the UK by the emergency in Syria. They are much loved and respected by their community of friends here in Leeds and we are gravely concerned for Raja's safety were she to be forcibly removed to Saudi Arabia. 

Raja and Mahmoud's application for asylum has not yet been fully considered. Despite this the Home Office plans to remove them imminently to Saudi Arabia on Qatar Airlines, where Raja will be in extreme danger.

Please show your support for Raja and Mahmoud by adding your name to this petition, and joining the campaign to stop the forced removal of our friends


There is a link to it on the facebook page too which is now up and running:






Do you know of a person seeking

asylum in the Leeds area who has

been detained unfairly and/or lost

access to support?


We may be able to help