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Local press helps execution-threatened Iraqi journalist win extended UK stay

A local newspaper has helped an Iraqi journalist threatened with execution by terrorist death squads win a 10-month battle to remain in the UK.

Mohamad Star Saeed, (26), of Bury, fled to Britain after terrorists kidnapped his brother, killed two of his colleagues and threatened to kill him and the rest of his family.

The Home Office wanted to deport him, but, with the support of the National Union of Journalists and his local newspaper, the Bury Times, Mohamad has now won permission to stay in the UK for at least five years.

His case had originally been highlighted by the Bury Times in a front-page splash in April this year.

Senior reporter Dale Haslam, who wrote the story, told HTFP: “We were delighted to to get the result we did with it. From the moment our contacts put us in touch with Mohamad we were keen to find out about his situation.”

Dale’s story was actually cited as evidence in the tribunal hearing in Manchester last week which granted him asylum.

The tribunal heard that terrorist group Jihad U Tawheed had kidnapped Mohamad’s 12-year-old brother Bilal, who is still missing and is feared dead, while his friend Saman Abdullah was executed by gunmen.

The judge ruled Mohamad’s life would be at risk in Iraq and granted him asylum.

Mohamad, who wants to begin work in the British media as soon as documentation allows, said: “I am still getting over this wonderful decision and then I will decide what to do next. I want to thank the Bury Times for bringing my case to light and the NUJ.”

The union’s northern regional organiser Chris Morley said: “We are absolutely delighted that Mohamad is now safe and doesn’t have to worry now about going back into a situation where his life is under threat.”