Afghan refugee saved from deportation to death


This Associated Press video says about itself:

Protest as Germany deports Afghan refugees

(14 Dec 2016) Germany deported around 50 Afghans to their homeland on Wednesday after after their asylum bids were rejected.

They left on Wednesday evening from Frankfurt airport as dozens of people gathered to rally against the deportation.

Only 18 Afghan citizens were deported in the first half of 2016, according to government figures.

More than 12,500 Afghans have received orders to leave the country, but not yet been deported.

Instead, it has tried to convince them to go home on a voluntary basis by offering financial incentives upon their return.

Recently, however the government has said it would toughen its stance on rejected asylum-seekers and that more people would be deported.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Last-minute reprieve for young Afghan

Monday 28th August 2017

Pilot refuses to fly man who has been threatened by Taliban

A YOUNG man who could have faced death if returned to Afghanistan is still in Britain after the pilot on his deportation flight reportedly refused to take him.

Samim Bigzad, 22, was detained after he attended his monthly appointment at a London immigration office in July. His initial asylum claim was rejected in March 2016 and subsequent appeals were also refused.

He was due to be taken on a Turkish Airlines commercial flight via Istanbul on Saturday, however campaigners said he is still in the country because he did not board the plane.

A protest group at Heathrow pleaded with the airline not to “collude with the British government and facilitate the deportation of a young man who faces execution if he returns to Afghanistan.”

They spoke with passengers and airline officials, who said they would pass on concerns to the captain and crew.

Protest organiser Bridget Chapman said: “Looks like the pilot refused to take him.”

Mr Bigzad has been the main carer for his father – a British citizen who suffers from PTSD following his torture and jailing by the Taliban almost 20 years ago – and had visited him every day at his B&B room, brought him food and accompanied him to the mosque.

Ms Rafferty had launched a petition appealing to Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis to allow him to stay in Britain so that he could gather fresh evidence for the review of his asylum application.

Mr Bigzad arrived in Britain in November 2015 having spent some time living in the Calais refugee camp in northern France.

He risked his life escaping Afghanistan after the Taliban threatened to behead him because the construction company he worked for had contracts with the Afghan government and US firms.

He was placed to live with Kavel Rafferty in Margate through the Kent Refugee Action Network and Refugees at Home.

Ms Rafferty said: “The pilot wouldn’t fly him. We can do things, we can change things. I know it’s not over, but this is a small victory for us, for kindness and something other.”

Home Office statistics show just 35 per cent of asylum applications from Afghanistan were accepted in 2016 despite humanitarian organisations urging the government to stop deportations.

The High Court ruled in March last year that deportations to Afghanistan could resume following a blanket ban imposed in August 2015.

A Home Office spokeswoman said that they would not comment on individual cases.

European governments have deported almost 10,000 Afghans to risk of death and torture, Amnesty finds. Bloc ‘wilfully blind’ to evidence of atrocities in the country, says charity: here.

Janine Jackson interviewed Phyllis Bennis about Trump’s Afghan War escalation for the August 25, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

9 thoughts on “Afghan refugee saved from deportation to death

  1. Pingback: Stop Italian anti-refugee policies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Friday 15th September 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    by Felicity Collier

    AN EMERGENCY protest was held last night for a man who the Home Office deported to Afghanistan despite his fear of being beheaded by the Taliban.

    Samim Bigzad was taken from an immigration detention centre near Gatwick airport and forced onto a plane to Turkey on Tuesday.

    Mr Bigzad had said that Taliban militants targeted him because he worked for a construction company that has contracts with the Afghan government and US military.

    Mr Bigzad’s lawyers accused the Home Office of violating a court order, securing a last-minute injunction while he was being held in Istanbul awaiting a connecting flight to Kabul.

    Lawyers said the court order would force the Home Office to fl y the 22-year-old back to Britain for a judicial review into the handling of his asylum claim and his wider treatment.

    Half an hour before the flight was due to depart, the Home Office promised to enact the order.

    But, according to solicitor Jamie Bell, “for unknown reasons they did not do so,” and he was put on a flight to Afghanistan.

    As the Star went to press, Mr Bigzad was in a hotel room in Kabul waiting to hear his fate, with solicitors considering making an application for a second court order.

    Mr Bell said the existing injunction requires the government to return him to Britain. Kent Anti-Racism Network chair Bridget Chapman said: “We will not rest until the court order is enforced and Samim is safely returned.

    “Nor will we forget other voiceless detainees being subject to harsh and cruel practices such as forced deportations and indefinite detention. These breaches of basic human rights shame us all.”

    The Migrants’ Rights Network also urged the Home Office to respect the court’s decision. And the Green Party said the government risked having “blood on its hands.”

    Deputy party leader Amelia Womack said: “It’s a cruel and callous government that’s willing to send a man to his death. It’s a shameless and undemocratic one that would do so against the wishes of a court of law.”

    The Greens and the Kent Anti-Racism Network organised last night’s protest outside the Home Office in Westminster.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-8677-Campaigners-rally-for-young-Afghan-targeted-by-Taliban#.WbuCEcZpEdU

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  3. Saturday 16th September 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    by Felicity Collier

    THE Home Office has ignored two court orders demanding the return of a terrified asylum-seeker who was deported to Afghanistan this week and fears he will be beheaded by the Taliban.

    Samim Bigzad, 22, was still holed up in a hotel room in Kabul yesterday after he was deported on Tuesday despite a last-minute ruling from the High Court ordering his return to Britain.

    Mr Bigzad had been living in Margate, Kent, where he had cared for his father who suffers from PTSD after escaping torture by the Taliban. He claims he is a prime target for the Taliban because he worked in construction for the Afghan government and US companies before coming to Britain.

    The Home Offi ce has promised to return the aslyum seeker but has yet to do so, his lawyer told the Star yesterday.

    Jamie Bell of Duncan Lewis solicitors said the government has now ignored two court orders for his return, with a third made on Thursday night.

    “We sent the Home Office a strongly worded email and we have ordered them to liaise with us, and they have absolutely not done that,” he added. “We’re very concerned that the Home Office are not complying.”

    The lawyer said that Mr Bigzad is scared for his life and has been advised not to leave his hotel room because a car was spotted driving around outside the premises and a group of plain-clothed men with guns had also demanded to know his whereabouts.

    Bridget Chapman from campaign group Kent Anti-Racism Network told the Star yesterday that Home Secretary Amber Rudd had “applied to the court to have the previous two court orders overturned.”

    The second order states that Ms Rudd is in contempt of court for breaching the first order not to remove Mr Bigzad.

    “We are still waiting to see if she [Ms Rudd] will continue to defy the court orders. She seems to think she is above the law. She is not,” Ms Chapman said.

    At a demonstration outside the Home Office in Westminster on Thursday night, the activist said campaigners who had spoken to Mr Bagzid claimed he was mistreated while being deported.

    She said: “He was crying and struggling and he was gagged so he couldn’t say anything and when he tried to call out he was punched in the head.”

    Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack also joined protesters outside the Home Office. She attacked the government’s cruel immigration policies saying they are “not people-centred.”

    “If the Home Office can send someone to their death, they’ve got no consideration for people’s lives,” she added.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-eef6-Rudd-ignored-2-court-orders-demanding-Bigzads-return#.Wb0xQMZpEdU

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