In the very early hours of this morning, 21 year old Hamed, originally from Afghanistan has been unexpectedly deported from the UK, to Holland, despite a pending injunction.
He was forced to flee Afghanistan when his family home came under grenade attack, because Hamed and his father refused to pass information to the Taliban.
Together with his underage brother and cousin, he travelled via Pakistan and Iran to Turkey, before crossing to Greece and finding his way across Europe. He finally arrived in the Calais refugee camp known as the ‘Jungle’, his brother and cousin are still in Calais.
For the past eight months, since crossing into the UK in November 2015, Hamed has been living with 29-year- old Sophie Muller and family in Cosheston, Pembrokeshire. The Muller’s have supported him financially and emotionally, and have overseen Hamed’s successful integration into UK life and a rapid improvement in his English language skills.
Ms Muller said: “Hamed has become a big brother to my three little boys and is a much-loved member of our extended family. We were committed to supporting him with everything he needed for the foreseeable future. My youngest boy, Noah, is just distraught and cannot understand why his brother has suddenly disappeared.” Hamed also has close family in Manchester, including an uncle, who he visited regularly.
All asylum seekers in the UK are required to attend police stations on a fortnightly basis for an identification check.
On Tuesday 28th June, officers were waiting for Hamed at his regular signing and immediately took him into detention pending deportation to The Netherlands.
Under European law, theoretically asylum seekers are required to claim asylum in the first ‘safe country’ in which they arrive. Hamed mistakenly took a train to The Netherlands on his way across Europe and there Dutch authorities forcibly took his fingerprints while threatening his younger brother with violence. Despite not processing Hamed any further, the taking of fingerprints essentially registered his presence in that country.
However, Hamed’s close family in the UK, his mental health and additional mitigating circumstances provided a strong case for a UK asylum claim. He is suffering from depression and is self-harming due to PTSD, and was due to undergo a psychiatric assessment on Monday 18th July. After pressure from Ms Muller’s MP Simon Hart, and a petition which gained 15,000 signatures in two days, the deportation was initially cancelled by the Home Office.
“The way Hamed is being treated is a completely unnecessary cruelty. This young man has travelled thousands of miles to seek sanctuary and he found it in a family home in Pembrokeshire.
All across the UK, tens of thousands of people have volunteered to do their bit and take refugees into their homes. It just makes no sense for the Home Office to scupper this natural solidarity by tearing people like Hamed from their adoptive families in this way.”
The solicitor working on Hamed’s case, Attieh Fard of Sookias and Sookias, labelled the sudden deportation last night as “unlawful”.
This is yet another heart-wrenching example of the cruelty of the UK government’s asylum policy!!