Family Left Homeless
Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, UK)
January 18, 2010 Monday
BYLINE: Katie Davies
SECTION: A; Pg. 13
LENGTH: 410 words
A COUPLE and their children have been evicted and left destitute after their appeal for asylum was refused.
Kamo and Nonna Manukyan have lived in Wallsend, North Tyneside, for two years with their children, Lusi, 18, and Arsen, 19.
The Home Office want the Christian family-of-four to return to Uzbekistan or to Armenia, where mum Nonna and her two children have citizenship.
The family, formerly of Helmsley Drive, were forced to leave their property in freezing temperatures this week after they received a letter from their accommodation provider, Angel Group.
Angel Group wrote to the family stating that they were no longer entitled to accommodation, as their application had been refused.
The Manukyans have since managed to find a place to stay but are relying on charity and handouts from friends and neighbours.
Wallsend’s People’s Centre Walking With project are helping the family as much as they can, as their only support free food vouchers has been cut off.
Ian Ferguson, from the centre, said: “It’s grossly immoral what is happening to this family.
“It’s as if the authorities are trying to starve these people out of the country.
“They have no means of obtaining any food.”
The Manukyans are forced to live with their most treasured possessions in bags in fear they could be put out at any time if charity donations run out.
Mum Nonna has serious health problems and without shelter and support her situation could deteriorate.
Lusi, who scored top grades at A-level and won places to study medicine at Newcastle and St Andrew’s universities said: “I thought things may have changed in the New Year but then this happens.
“The most annoying thing was that the letter arrived the day after our deadline to move out.”
The family risk being torn apart if they are deported.
While Nonna, Arsen and Lusi have Armenian citizenship, dad Kamo does not.
He could be extradited to Uzbekistan, splitting the family in two. Arsen, who is a star pupil on his art and design course at Newcastle College, claims he will be jailed if sent to Armenia.
Military service is compulsory in the country and, since his 18th birthday, Arsen has missed two call-ups.
The Home Office have rejected their appeal for an extension stating they should have been prepared to leave.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “Our decision to refuse this family asylum has been upheld throughout the full appeal process.
“Once a decision has been made we expect people to leave voluntarily.”