Mum who fled possible death sentence in Iran reunited with family thanks to Islington law firm

15:36 08 January 2015

Roopa Tanna, of the Islington Law Centre.

Roopa Tanna, of the Islington Law Centre.


A Kurdish mother successfully reunited with her husband and teenage son has hailed the Islington legal charity which assisted her for giving her a “new life”.

The 56-year-old mum of four, known only as Mrs B, fled to Islington because she faced a possible death sentence for her political beliefs in her native Iran.

Despite being given refugee status two months later her husband and then 16-year-old son, who had both been arrested, abused and interrogated by Iranian authorities weren’t allowed to join her.

But thanks to the Islington Law Centre, in Devonia Road, the family are now together - and a landmark case the firm won at the Court of Appeal last month means others will get more help in the same situation.

Roopa Tanna, the solicitor at Islington Law Centre who oversaw the case, said: “She wouldn’t have known how to make the application and she had no money. I did the work anyway because you can’t leave people in such terrible situations like that.”

Ms. B, speaking through an interpreter, said: “I am so thankful of Roopa and the women’s rights’ organisation that helped me to be with my family again. They have given me a new life.”

While refugees can apply for family reunion visas for spouses and children under eighteen, Ms B faced several problems which meant she required extra legal assistance.

Her son did not have a passport, there was no functioning British Embassy in Iran and she spoke almost no English.

During their time apart, her son had been forced to stop attending school, was living in hiding and was beginning to suffer from symptoms of mental illness.

Islington Law Centre applied for legal aid twice to assist with Ms B’s case and were refused in both August 2013 and February 2014.

Ms B’s case was one of six others which were examined by judges and on December 13, last year the Court of Appeal declared that exceptional legal funding should be accessible for assistance with applications for people in similar circumstances.

Ms B also received support from the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories


Newington Green Unitarian Church is in desperate need of repair. Nothing unusual there. What sets it apart, finds James Morris, are the 300 years of radical history witnessed by its crumbling walls.


As one of the busiest news patches in the country, the Gazette always has a long list of important issues to take up with Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn.


Islington Council reinforced its “idle engine” campaign with a giant snakes and ladders mat in Upper Street.

Yesterday, 18:23

A banned pet owner who crammed dozens of animals into her filthy Crouch Hill home has been spared jail – again.

Yesterday, 17:15

A drug dealer who sent a death threat to the councillor who closed Farringdon superclub Fabric has been jailed for eight months.

Yesterday, 14:42

Police are appealing for help to find 15-year-old Tia Harrold, who was last seen by her mother in Old Street on October 13.

Yesterday, 13:51

A 13-year-old boy was mutilated in an underground garage in Finsbury.

Yesterday, 12:10

Islington Council says it has convinced transport bosses to divert traffic away from the north of the borough during the “disastrous” three-month closure of Holloway Road – but motorists remain unimpressed.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now