Syrian family of Grenfell victim Mohammad Alhajali allowed to enter UK
More than 85,000 people signed a petition calling for his parents to be granted visas to visit the UK.
The Home Office has assisted the family of Grenfell Tower victim Mohammad Alhajali in “making arrangements for their travel to the UK”.
The 23-year-old Syrian refugee was the first fatality of the disaster to be formally identified by police.
More than 85,000 people have signed a petition calling for his parents to be granted visas for the UK so they can attend his funeral.
A Home Office spokesman said on Saturday: “We made contact with Mr Alhajali’s family yesterday and assisted them in making arrangements for their travel to the UK in these terribly sad circumstances.”
The petition was set up by family friend Mirna Suleiman, 26, who had been ringing around numerous hospitals, rest centres and the casualty helpline for news of his fate before discovering he had not made it out alive.
She chose to launch the campaign because as someone with Syrian family herself, she knows how difficult it is to obtain a visa for visits.
We're very pleased to announce that the family of Mohammed Alhajali received visas to come to the UK for Mohammed's...Posted by Syria Solidarity Campaign on Saturday, June 17, 2017
The Syria Solidarity Campaign posted on Facebook: “We’re very pleased to announce that the family of Mohammad Alhajali received visas to come to the UK for Mohammad’s funeral.
“It’s not the kind of reunion anyone would have wanted, but we know it will be comforting for the family as they grieve for the loss of Mohammad together.”
Mr Alhajali’s family said in a statement: “Mohammad was a very amazing and kind person. He gave love to everyone. He came to the UK because he had ambitions and aims for his life and for his family.
“Our whole family will miss Mohammad dearly and he will never be forgotten. To God we belong and to him we return.”
Mr Alhajali’s older brother Omar – who was with him in the flat – survived the fire after they were separated on the way out.
The percentage of rejected visa applications for visits from Syria has soared after the country’s devastating civil war began in 2011.
But the Home Office has established processes which allow it to consider visa applications outside the Immigration Rules on compassionate grounds.