A civil judge has ordered Home Secretary Amber Rudd to reconsider granting asylum to two Ahmadiyya Muslims who fear persecution in their native Pakistan.
Lord Glennie ruled yesterday that the mother and son – who have not been named – should be allowed to make a fresh claim to remain in the United Kingdom.
The judge, who was sitting at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, ruled that their religious beliefs could place them in danger of falling victim to violence if they are returned home.
The couple, who live in the Glasgow area, belong to a group which some Muslims consider to preach heretical beliefs.
Earlier this year, shopkeeper Asad Shah,40, was murdered outside his shop in Shawlands, Glasgow, for his Ahmadiyya beliefs.
The mother and son had previously been denied the right to remain in Britain after immigration judges ruled that they did not qualify for asylum. In September 2015, lawyers acting for them made further submissions to the Home Office.
The new submissions were based on official guidance which had been adopted by the UK government in light of the changing political situation in Pakistan for Ahmadi Muslims.
Lawyers said their new submissions should be treated as a fresh application for asylum.
However, then home secretary Theresa May refused to consider the submissions as a new application for asylum and ordered them to be removed from Britain.
Yesterday, Lord Glennie ruled that the Home Office failed to take into account the new official guidance about dealing with asylum claims made by Ahmadiyya Muslims.
The guidance states that people belonging to the group face being persecuted for their faith. It states that the risk of danger to members of the sect has increased in recent years.
Lord Glennie wrote that the new Home Secretary now needs to reconsider the family’s request for asylum.
He added: “There has been a marked and significant change in the country guidance dealing with the position of Ahmadis in Pakistan.
“Instead of it being the case that there is a very low risk of persecution, the new country guidance makes it clear that it is now dangerous for an Ahmadi to practise and manifest his or her faith openly in Pakistan.”
The Ahmadiyaa is an Islamic movement founded in the Punjab in the 19th century.