Last hope for asylum seeker

IPSWICH asylum seeker Naematullah Rahmati is today hoping a last-ditch appeal to remain in Britain will earn him a reprieve.The 21-year-old, who has been told by the authorities he must return to Afghanistan by Monday because his life is no longer in danger, believes his desperate bid is likely to be doomed but said he must now wait and see.

IPSWICH asylum seeker Naematullah Rahmati is today hoping a last-ditch appeal to remain in Britain will earn him a reprieve.

The 21-year-old, who has been told by the authorities he must return to Afghanistan by Monday because his life is no longer in danger, believes his desperate bid is likely to be doomed but said he must now wait and see.

Mr Rahmati, of Victoria Street, Ipswich, revealed a Colchester solicitor had convinced him to ask the authorities to reconsider their decision as he had married his girlfriend Tanya Barroso, on Valentine's Day at the town's register office.

Until now Mr Rahmati has remained quiet about the wedding, because he said he wanted to protect his wife and did not want the Home Office to think they had married just so he could stay in the country.

Ms Barroso, 20, said: "I got married because I love him and I want to be with him."

Her husband added: "I love her . We have been with each other for five years and I want a family with Tanya."

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Mr Rahmati said the pair married in the belief that his appeal against being asked to leave Britain would be upheld and he was certain at the time he would be able to stay.

Now they couple face being parted in three days time, with little prospect of seeing each other for at least six months, while Mr Rahmati travels to the British Embassy in Pakistan in an attempt to get an entry visa to the UK. However he has been told there are no guarantees he will be able to do so.

Such was their desperation for him to remain, the couple said their solicitor had told them the only hope was to make another application on the basis of their marriage.

But they have been warned that although it is an expensive procedure, they are unlikely to succeed.

Mr Rahmati, a mechanic at H&F Autos in St Helen's Street, Ipswich, said: "We are trying to put in the application to the Home Office and see what will happen. Monday is the deadline. They could pick me up anytime after Monday. The immigration people could come at any time to my house. Obviously I'm scared. I'm quite worried because I don't know how Tanya's going to cope by herself and you never know how long it is going to take by the time I go there and come back. Maybe I won't be able to come back.

His wife said: "It's horrible. You are always scared they will come and take him away when I'm not here and there will be no way for me to know what's happening until he can get back home and call me."

Mr Rahmati, a member of the persecuted Hazara people, fled Afghanistan at the age of 16 after his father was killed by the Taliban and the regime had tried to conscript him twice. His family paid a people trafficker to take him away in the hope he would be find a safe haven in another country.

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