Derby

Deportation row boy Lawand Hamadamin gets reprieve

Lawand Hamadamin
Image caption Lawand Hamadamin is getting specialist education at the Royal School for the Deaf Derby

A deaf six-year-old boy threatened with deportation has been given a last-minute reprieve.

Lawand Hamadamin's family said they fled Iraq as so-called Islamic State threatened to kill disabled children.

They said they moved to Derby via Germany so Lawand could learn sign language but the Home Office argues EU rules state refugees should register in the first European country they enter.

The family, due to leave on Monday, have now had a decision deferred.

A High Court judge will now look at their case and the review could take several months.

Image caption Lawand's father Rebwar Golbahar said deportation would be "frightening and devastating"

After travelling via Greece and Germany the family spent a year in a refugee camp in France.

As the family made its way to Europe, Lawand's parents put a plastic bag on his head to protect his cochlear implant.

But once in the camp they were unable to charge its batteries and the boy lived "most of his life in a silent world".

After hiding in the back of a lorry to get to the UK, the family was first sent by the Home Office to Halifax but later relocated to Derby so Lawand could get specialist help.

'Extremely relieved'

Lawand did not know sign language as it was not taught in Iraqi schools.

Staff at the Royal School for the Deaf have said he has made "exceptional progress".

More than 11,000 people have signed a petition against the deportation.

Lawand's father Rebwar Golbahar said: "We are extremely relieved that we have been granted some more time to prove to the Home Office why Lawand needs to stay in Derby.

"He has made incredibly good progress since coming to this school and we are desperate for this good work to continue. He would go back to the beginning if we were removed and the deportation would be frightening and devastating for the whole family.

"We would like to thank the school and all the people who have campaigned to help us."

The Home Office has previously said it would not "shoulder the burden" of other countries' asylum claims.

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