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Heartbroken Lowestoft family's plea

PUBLISHED: 10:15 21 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:36 06 July 2010

HUSBAND and wife Dana and Taina Ali pictured recently.

HUSBAND and wife Dana and Taina Ali pictured recently.

A HEARTBROKEN Lowestoft family this week issued an emotional plea to immigration officials to “Free Dana Ali.”

Today Taina Ali will head for Cambridge in the hope that her husband of six years will receive a reprieve from possible deportation.

A HEARTBROKEN Lowestoft family this week issued an emotional plea to immigration officials to “Free Dana Ali.”

Today Taina Ali will head for Cambridge in the hope that her husband of six years will receive a reprieve from possible deportation.

Mrs Ali will be reunited with her “soulmate” for only the third time in the past two weeks after her husband was detained and taken initially to the Harwich Immigration Short Term Holding Centre, before being subsequently moved to the Oakington Immigration Removal Centre in Cambridge to await his fate.

In what has been a traumatic fortnight, family and friends of 34-year-old Mr Ali have rallied round to show their support for the “loveable, hard working and motivated man” who has lived in this country since 2000 after fleeing his home in war torn Iraq.

44-year-old Mrs Ali's world was turned upside down on Friday, July 31. Under the terms of her husband's residency conditions, he has to sign on once a month at Lowestoft police station - but on this occasion he never returned to the couple's home in the town.

“After living three years in this country, Dana had to reapply for his visa as it had run-out - but despite sending over all the appropriate paperwork and details as we had married we have had to wait time after time and reapply as the rules have changed in the past six years,” Mrs Ali said.

“Dana has not been able to work in this time, and every time he has reported to Lowestoft police station it has only been a formality - but this time he did not come home.”

Instead, the couple's worst fears became reality as Dana called his wife to say he was being sent to Harwich with two others - wearing a t-shirt and shorts, with just his mobile phone and wallet - and she wouldn't even know if he was to be deported.

“It was a terrible shock and sheer panic as I didn't know what to do next,” she admitted. “Dana has not broken any laws, he has always stayed out of trouble yet we are getting penalised for it.

Revealing her husband was “shocked and scared” as he was taken into the holding centres, he has since been seen by a doctor who prescribed him medication for “clinical depression.”

“Dana has been a bag of nerves, he has lost loads of weight and has been self harming himself as we do everything that the Home Office ask and wait for their decision,” Mrs Ali revealed.

Since he had been detained, she has only been able to see her husband twice - and on both occasions it has been littered with tears and embraces.

And after liaising with S J Ali and Company Solicitors, from London, Mrs Ali is hopeful of some good news soon - although there is the nagging fear that her husband may have to be deported to Jordan - the nearest embassy as there is no embassy in Iraq now - to get his paperwork, and then it could take weeks, months and even years for him to get back into the country again.

“I am hoping that I will go down on Friday (today) and Dana will get a reprieve so I can bring him home,” she admitted. “The solicitors have faxed immigration with all the paperwork and application details - as we've been waiting six years for this visa.

“We are now waiting for the Home Office decision and we've gone to court to get jurisdiction for him to stay here on Human Rights grounds - this is because of his current state and also because of the fear that if they send him back now they don't know if he will survive.”

An online petition has been set up by Mrs Ali and her niece - Dana's uncle - on the social networking site Facebook to “Free Dana Ali” and this has already attracted 163 members from across the world.

Claire Mason - Taina and Dana's neice - said: “My uncle has been detained any may get deported to Iraq. Dana is a loveable hard working, motivated man who married my aunt six years ago - since then he has become a loved member of the family, a fantastic uncle to me and my daughter and a loving husband who has made my aunt the happiest woman on the planet.

“I plea to anyone who has any compassion, those of you that know Dana and those of you that don't but know me and my aunt and my family to all help get him back - if not we may never see our friend, uncle and family member again.”

Taina and Dana first met at Buxted Chicken factory, where they worked, seven years ago and within eight months they were “like soulmates,” so much so that they married soon after.

“Dana is my world, my soulmate and I just hope he can come back home to his family in Lowestoft soon and not be stuck in some cell,” Mrs Ali said.

At the time of going to press, the UK Border Agency was unavailable for comment.

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