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Britain Is Seeking To Deport A 77-Year-Old Man With Dementia

Hakeem Mohammad Haleem's son told BuzzFeed News the family is suffering "mental torture" over his father's case.

Originally posted on
Updated on
Thomas Temple / SWNS

The British government is moving to deport an elderly man with dementia, a process his son says has been a form of "mental torture".

Hakeem Muhammad Haleem, from Peshawar in Pakistan, visited Britain with his wife in 2010 to see his son, Muhammad Nadeem, 46, who lives in Oldham with his wife, Mehwish, and daughter Manahal.

At the time Haleem arrived, the law stated that British nationals and those with indefinite leave to remain could be joined by parents or grandparents over 65 as long as they gave them accommodation and financial support.

However, in 2012 the law changed and Haleem no longer has leave to remain.

BuzzFeed News has seen medical documents that describe his health problems. Letters from the Royal Oldham hospital sent in late 2015 and early 2016 show he has been diagnosed with dementia and probable "vascular Parkinsonism", a condition similar to Parkinson's disease, along with angina and diabetes.

In an petition, his son writes: "I have repeatedly assured the Home Office that I and my wife will take full financial responsibility for my father's welfare and that we have no desire or intention to claim benefits on his behalf. We only wish to be allowed to care for our father and provide a safe and loving home for him with us for his remaining years."

Nadeem told BuzzFeed News that his father is largely confined to his bed. Haleem's wife died in 2010 after returning to Pakistan to seek treatment for an illness. As a result, Nadeem said, there is no one other than his family left to care for his father.

Muhammad Nadeem (right) with his granddaughter and daughter-in-law.
Thomas Temple

Muhammad Nadeem (right) with his granddaughter and daughter-in-law.

BuzzFeed News has also seen a letter from the Home Office to Haleem in March describing him as a "person liable to be detained" and asking him to report to an immigration detention centre. Nadeem, who is being advised by his MP, Debbie Abrahams, told BuzzFeed News his father was not well enough to attend.

He has sent a number of appeals to the government on his father's behalf. One letter to the Home Office referred to the case of Myrtle Cothill, a frail 92-year-old South African woman who was being cared by her daughter and was being threatened with deportation.

After a public outcry, the Home Office gave Cothill leave to remain when medical evidence proved that her removal could have fatal repercussions for her.

However, all of Nadeem's five requests for reconsideration have been rejected. Nadeem told BuzzFeed News the Home Office had put him through "mental torture". A case has been lodged at the court of appeal.

He said he was angry with the Home Office and felt particularly let down because, while his father was not a British national, his grandfather had been. In one letter, which he has sent to David Cameron, he says the risk of death if his father is removed from the country "is a reality".

He asks if Nadeem's removal would risk "inhuman and degrading treatment" given his "physical frailty", "partial blindness", "prostate and urinal incontinence", and the fact that he is "severely mentally impaired".

A Home Office spokesperson said: "All applications are considered on their individual merits, including any exceptional or compassionate circumstances, and in accordance with the immigration rules.

"We do not routinely comment on individual cases."

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at

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