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Speaking for Ourselves

Bashir’s Story: ‘I am a Brummie but I am treated differently’

Bashir’s Story: ‘I am a Brummie but I am treated differently’

Sundus Abdi

 Migrant Voice - Bashir’s Story: ‘I am a Brummie but I am treated differently’

At age just 14, Bashir Ahmadzai fled for his life to the UK from Khost, eastern Afghanistan, escaping violence and Taliban recruitment. Now, at 27 years old, his claim for asylum has been rejected by the Home Office, and he is being told to return to Afghanistan.

Upon arrival, Bashir was placed into the foster care system under a local authority. As a young man, he was placed into a foster family, where he received care and was able to pursue his education. Completing his diploma in IT, Bashir was close to fulfilling his dream of becoming a web designer and had received a place at a Birmingham university. He was granted temporary status to remain in the UK, but this ended when he turned 18. Threatened with deportation, Bashir has been fighting to stay in the country ever since, but his asylum applications have so far been rejected by the Home Office.

A year before Bashir was due to start university, his dreams were shattered when an immigration team abruptly entered his flat. Bashir was taken to a detention centre, where he was held for 5 months before being temporarily discharged. Since the end of his temporary status, Bashir has been stuck in limbo, unable to work, study or pursue his dreams. Frustrated with the Home Office’s decision, Bashir says: “This makes me really upset because I am a Brummie but I am treated differently.”

The current situation in Afghanistan is increasingly dangerous, with more bombs being dropped on the country in 2019 than any other year since the beginning of the US’ intervention. Although the authority overseeing Bashir’s case acknowledged the deteriorating security situation in Kabul, they are still pushing to relocate him to the city as they consider it safe, despite him never having been there. Deporting Bashir to Afghanistan would put him at risk from violence from the Taliban, who murdered his father and brother, and would leave him without the support system he has in the UK.

Salman Mirza, Birmingham Network Worker for Migrant Voice, says: “Bashir has been in the UK since he was a child. He refused to join the Taliban, that takes guts, this is his home now.” Bashir has managed to integrate into British society, making many friends and having optimistic ambitions for his future in the UK. His foster mother views him as part of the family, and feels that if given the opportunity, Bashir will be able to succeed.

For Bashir, it is dangerous to return to Afghanistan, as the conditions there have not improved. He has been trying to build a life for himself, despite the many barriers he faces in doing so. “I want to work and contribute to society but I’m not allowed to,” he says.

The campaign for Bashir is gaining traction, with photos with the words ‘#BashirMustStay’ being circulated on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The petition on Change.org is currently at almost 900 signatures. Despite the harsh decision from the UK government, Bashir remains hopeful that people are still on his side, through signing his petition and holding his banner.

You can support Bashir by sharing a photo of yourself holding a sign with the hashtag #BashirMustStay. You can sign his petition by clicking here

Watch MV's video about Bashir's campaign below:

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Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: [email protected]

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Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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