Matt determined for a speedy return

ASYLUM seeker Naematullah Rahmati today urged his friends in Ipswich to maintain their pressure on the government to allow him to return to the town.Speaking from a detention centre near Manchester airport – the third he had been held in – Matt, as he is known to his family and friends, vowed to return to Ipswich within months of his deportation.

ASYLUM seeker Naematullah Rahmati today urged his friends in Ipswich to maintain their pressure on the government to allow him to return to the town.

Speaking from a detention centre near Manchester airport – the third he had been held in – Matt, as he is known to his family and friends, vowed to return to Ipswich within months of his deportation.

During what looked certain to be his final hours in the country, the 21-year-old mechanic said: "I appreciate everything people have done for me but if they could keep up with it I'd really appreciate it.

"I do want to come back as soon as possible because it's my home town where I grew up."


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Matt is faced being deported on a flight out of Glasgow bound for Dubai at noon today.

He was detained by immigration officials who swooped on his home on Friday and held in detention centres in Harwich and Gatwick before being taken to Manchester on Sunday.

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From there he was taken to Glasgow in preparation for today's flight. He is expected to be taken to Kabul where he will turn his attention to finding a way to return to Britain.

Today he told how he was transported to Manchester and handcuffed on arrival.

He said: "They took me all the way to Manchester airport in a truck like the ones you go to prison in. I had to go across the runway and the bloke said he had to handcuff me."

Despite being held in detention and not knowing when he will be able to return, Matt said he was remaining positive about his future with his wife Tanya, 20.

He said: "When I get there I have to find my way out and get a visa to get in another country.

"The way it is there at the moment I don't know a lot of people. It's going to be difficult."

Matt, of Victoria Street, Ipswich, has been in England five years. His application for asylum was denied on the grounds he did not have an entry visa when he first entered the country and the government now views Afghanistan as safe to return to.

His family in Ipswich now hope he will be able to get an entry visa quickly so that he can return.

His wife's mother, Karen Barroso, of Melbourne Road, Ipswich, said they had provided him papers from a solicitor which should enable him to secure a visa.

She said: "They're suggesting that he goes back to Dubai or New Delhi.

"The solicitor was very positive when we saw her. She was saying they haven't refused him for any other reason because he hasn't got any entry visa.

"If they turned him down they would have to give a reason and then we'd have to take it to the High Court here. I hope it won't have to go that far."

N What do you think about Matt's deportation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

The story so far: Matt Rahmati

Matt arrived in England at the age of 16 in January, 2000 after fleeing the Taliban in his home country of Afghanistan.

After being granted temporary permission to stay, Matt learned English and worked as a mechanic in Ipswich. He also met and married Ipswich woman Tanya Barroso.

Matt was told by the Home Office it is safe to return to his home country and threatened to deport him.

He first spoke out about his plight on March 15 and by early April nearly 1,000 people had signed petitions protesting about his departure.

But on August 26, immigration officials and police swooped on Matt's home, in Victoria Street, Ipswich, to take him into custody.

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