August 30, 2007
By Bernard Josephs
Lawyers battling to prevent the deportation of Jewish teenage twins from the UK to their native Kyrgyzstan were this week awaiting a response to their appeal from the asylum authorities.
Now 18, Kamila and Karina Kaya fled the former Soviet republic four years ago after their parents were killed. They have been under the care of Birmingham's Jewish community but were held in the Yarl's Wood detention centre near Bedford earlier this year under the threat of deportation.
An appeal for a judicial review submitted by lawyer Michael Adelasoye was rejected last month. Now another appeal for reconsideration of their case is being studied by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. According to a legal spokesperson for the twins, if this is also turned down, the case can be taken as far as the High Court.
The sisters are said to have witnessed the murder of their father, a policeman. While they were in the care of relatives, their mother was also murdered.
Currently studying at Bournville College in Birmingham, they harbour ambitions to become doctors.
After efforts by the Jewish community and the Jewish Agency, they were given the opportunity of a safe haven in Israel, but declined it, maintaining that Britain was now their home.
Karina Kaya told the JC on Tuesday: "We are just working hard and trying not to think too much about the appeal. I am doing a foundation course in medical science at Bournville to prepare for medical school. It is a very hard course but I am determined to carry on whatever happens. We are still in touch with the Jewish community who are supporting us, as are the students at the college."
A Home Office spokesman said it was policy not to comment on individual cases.