Calls for home office to reunite Syrian family living in Midlothian

Mohammad's father Abedul Karou, with Owen Thomson MP
Mohammad's father Abedul Karou, with Owen Thomson MP

SNP MP Owen Thompson has called for urgent action from the UK Government to help a young Syrian boy – once feared dead - be reunited with his parents in Midlothian.

The Midlothian MP has written to Home Secretary Amber Rudd to ask her to help nine-year-old Mohamed Karou after receiving an assurance from Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday that the case will be looked at.

Mohamed Karou

Mohamed Karou

The young boy’s parents fled north east Syria earlier this year thinking that their son had died as a result of the war there however the couple, who now live in Midlothian, have since discovered that their son is alive but is trapped inside Syria.

The Home Office has said that Mohamed must undergo a DNA test at an approved centre before he can be reunited with his parents, but there are no such centres in Syria due to the devastating civil war and the nearest centres are in neighbouring countries that have closed their borders to Syria.

Mr Thompson said: “This family have gone through an unimaginable amount of pain: from finding out that their son is still alive to the agony and frustration of the last six months trying to get Mohamed out of Syria.

“A Red Cross chaperone has been offered to take Mohamed across the border but the Home Office has advised against this because it is just too dangerous – this little boy is in an extremely vulnerable position and urgently needs our help to ensure that he can be reunited with his family in Scotland.

“In light of the exceptional circumstances in this case, I call on the Home Secretary to take immediate action to remove Mohamed from the imminent danger he faces.

“Unfortunately Mohamed is only one of thousands of children in a similar situation and the policy of reuniting children with their families must be re-examined. The UK Government can and should do more to help the innocent people of Syria caught up in this devastating conflict.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “This is a complex case and we are carefully considering what options are available.”