Public cry for Matt to stay

WITH only 24 hours to go before he could be thrown out of Britain, Naematullah Rahmati today expressed his heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has campaigned for him.

WITH only 24 hours to go before he could be thrown out of Britain, Naematullah Rahmati today expressed his heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has campaigned for him.

Throughout the past seven days a groundswell of support has erupted to back the 21-year-old Afghan asylum seeker's bid to remain in the country.

Dozens of people have contacted The Evening Star expressing their disgust that Mr Rahmati will have to leave his wife, Tanya, his job and the life he has made for himself since he arrived here five years ago.

Mr Rahmati, of Victoria Street, Ipswich, has been touched by the amount of people who have taken up the cause on his behalf.


You may also want to watch:


He said: "I am really grateful and would like to say thank you very much from Tanya and myself. I have been overwhelmed by the response.

"I would like to really say thank you to everyone who has written in or contacted the paper.

Most Read

"I am all right today, but I don't know what's going to happen from tomorrow. I'm still trying to fight and do my best to stay and then see what happens."

Aside from friends setting up petitions and writing letters of support, backing has also come from other quarters.

Readers of the Evening Star who have never met Mr Rahmati have also given his attempts to stay in Britain their backing and have written in railing against what they see as an injustice.

In addition customers of the garage where Mr Rahmati works have contacted the paper and an e-mail of support has even been sent in from America.

Former police officer Harold Bennett, of Weir Place, Kirton, is among those who called in.

The 71-year-old, who spent 30 years in the force and is a customer of H&F Autos in St Helen's Street, Ipswich, said: "I met him five years ago when he first arrived here and I could tell he was a nice, humble boy.

"He went from strength to strength. You saw him at the garage and there was nothing he would not do for you.

"I feel there are definitely people who don't deserve to be here, but in Matt's case I only wish that something could be done. I feel 100 per cent that he should stay. To even consider sending him home is ridiculous.

"We all say men don't cry, but when I read the articles I was near to tears."

Dr Tonia Erelu e-mailed in from America after reading Mr Rahmati's story on the Evening Star website.

She said: "I lived and worked in the UK as a senior consultant for many years before migrating to America.

"One of the reasons which made us leave was the utter disrespect that many in the UK and the Home office have for foreigners.

"Negative journalism and politicians have done a grand job in fuelling the myth that migrants are free-loaders.

"I am so glad that many in the UK can think for themselves. It's unfortunate that society loses out on role models and hard workers like Matt. His wife and family are likewise torn apart."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter