Abdul is 23 years old, lives in Leicester and is from Afghanistan, where he suffered terrible persecution. His father was Russian and when Abdul was a baby, his parents and all his family were murdered. Abdul was rescued from a deserted building by a neighbour who brought him up. However, when he was a teenager, the Taliban invaded his house and demanded he join them or he would be shot. The neighbour hid Abdul and later sold her house in order to raise the money to get him out of Afghanistan and avoid further persecution.
When he came to England six years ago, Abdul was unable to pay for a solicitor for his asylum claim. He was also given an interpreter who did not understand his dialect of Dari. As a result, his asylum claim was handled badly and, indeed, he was unable to even attend the hearing.
When his initial claim to stay here was refused, Abdul took to the streets, living on free food and sleeping rough for over five years. He suffered terrible depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He lived like this to avoid being sent back to Afghanistan where he feared further persecution.
Abdul was found destitute by the Red Cross. He has a medical condition that would be untreatable in Afghanistan and suffers from chronic post-traumatic stress syndrome to this day. Abdul was granted Section 4 accommodation from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) while his medical case was reviewed.
No longer living on the streets meant that Abdul could attend English classes and he can now read and write in English. In fact, this is the only language he can read and write in as he is illiterate in his original language. He has also become more involved in the local community, helps out at Leicester City of Sanctuary based at Leicester Cathedral (where he was previously interviewed by BBC Radio Leicester) and participates in a local football team.
Abdul’s Section 4 accommodation ended during the first week of May 2013 when he was asked to submit a doctor’s letter explaining that he should continue to be rehoused due to his medical needs. This letter was replied to by his doctor who supported his need to be in accommodation based on his extreme post-traumatic stress syndrome. Abdul’s solicitor is also in the process of submitting a fresh asylum claim based on new evidence why he should stay in this country.
As part of his asylum requirement, Abdul regularly reported to the UKBA reporting station in Loughborough. However, while reporting to UKBA on Friday 10th May 2013, he was detained and held at Loughborough police station. From there, he was to be transferred to Morton Hall Detention Centre in Lincolnshire to await his removal back to Afghanistan.
If Abdul is removed against his will and sent back to Afghanistan, he will not be able to survive there. He has no family in Afghanistan and he knows absolutely no one there who could help him, although there are those who would definitely persecute him. Abdul has already suffered extreme persecution because of his family background.
Meanwhile, Abdul continues to suffer with post-traumatic stress syndrome and will not get the medical treatment he needs in Afghanistan. His current detention will only exacerbate his condition.
Abdul has touched the hearts of everyone who knows him. He has been trying to rebuild his life in a meaningful way, is willing to help others and plays a positive role in our local community.
We ask that he be released immediately from detention pending his asylum claim.
Campaign for Abdul Ghafar Rajabali started this petition with a single signature, and now has 3,270 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.