'Scandal' of asylum system

MOVES to force a young man out of the safety of Britain and back into a life of fear in Afghanistan have today been branded a "scandal".Naematullah Rahmati, 21, has spent five years building a new life in Ipswich after he fled Afghanistan following the execution of his father.

MOVES to force a young man out of the safety of Britain and back into a life of fear in Afghanistan have today been branded a "scandal".

Naematullah Rahmati, 21, has spent five years building a new life in Ipswich after he fled Afghanistan following the execution of his father.

In a few short years he has learnt a new language, trained as a mechanic and started his life anew after escaping from Taliban extremists in Kabul.

But now he faces a return to Afghanistan because despite numerous appeals his claims for asylum have been turned down.

The desperate future facing Mr Rahmati was first revealed in The Evening Star on Tuesday, when we told how the immigration service had turned down all his applications to stay in England.

Known to friends as Matt, Mr Rahmati holds down two jobs and has made England his home.

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And despite Foreign Office warnings that Afghanistan is still too dangerous to visit, Mr Rahmati has been told it is no longer unsafe for him to return there, even though the rest of his family have fled to Pakistan.

Theresa Mackie, who was a member of the now closed down Ipswich Campaign for Support of Asylum Seekers, said the decision to deport Mr Rahmati exposed flaws in the system.

"It is quite a scandal," she said.

"He has made his life here, he has nothing to go back for in Afghanistan.

"He is someone who has something to offer, not to take out of the system, and he shouldn't have to go through this.

"There is so many reasons to say why he should be allowed to stay and this shows how bad the laws are when someone who's offering something to society is being told 'off you go'.

"Here is a young man who has got everything to give, and as far as I'm concerned this really shows how wrong our immigration laws are."

Mrs Mackie, now secretary of the Ipswich and District Trades Union Council, said she feared Mr Rahmati would face certain danger in Afghanistan.

"He has got a good job and a girlfriend and he has got to leave that behind and go back to a country devastated by war - it beggars belief.

"It is not a democratic or safe country for him to go to, especially now he will be seen as Westernised.

"There are very formative years he has been here and to now be sent back to a society like that, a young man like him will not be well received. These so-called safe countries make a mockery of things, it will be anything but safe for him."

Are asylum laws too tough on people like Mr Rahmati? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

See page 8 for letters in support of Mr Rahmati.

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