Skip navigation

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

[Name removed] Belongs to Leicester

John O | 28.04.2009 14:41 | Birmingham | World

[Name removed as requested by subject], a national of Afghanistan, has been living in Leicester since 2004. He is an honest, caring, peaceful and law-abiding man who needs help and protection from the UK government because of the dangers to practising Christians in Afghanistan.

Friends of [name removed]
Friends of [name removed]

[Name removed] is currently preparing his appeal to stay in Britain. His court appearance for the Full Hearing will be on 12th May 2009.

[Name removed] was orphaned at the age of 10, in Kabul, when a bomb killed his parents and his sister, and blew up their house. An aunt took him to Iran to escape the fighting, where they lived as illegal refugees. The aunt and uncle gave him the last of the money from his father’s house plot, and left him to make his own way in the world.

USA: 2008 Human Rights Report: Afghanistan
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, published February 25, 2009
The country's human rights record remained poor. Human rights problems included extrajudicial killings; torture; poor prison conditions; official impunity; prolonged pretrial detention; restrictions on freedom of the press; restrictions on freedom of religion; violence and societal discrimination against women; restrictions on religious conversions; abuses against minorities; sexual abuse of children; trafficking in persons; abuse of worker rights; and child labor. During the year more than 6,340 persons died as a result of the insurgency, including deaths by suicide attacks and roadside bombs, in contrast to 2007, when more than 6,500 persons died. Taliban and anti-government elements continued to threaten, rob, attack, and kill villagers, government officials, foreigners, and nongovernmental organization (NGO) workers. UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported 2,118 civilian casualties during the year, an increase of 39 percent compared to 2007, when there were 1,523 reported civilian conflict-related deaths. There were numerous reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. In addition, there were killings of civilians during conflict, high-profile killings by unknown actors, and politically motivated killings by insurgent groups during the year in connection with the ongoing insurgency.

With no prospect of help in either Iran or Afghanistan he used the money to make his way to the UK in 2002, claimed asylum, and hoped that Britain might allow a bright, fit 17 year old a future that seemed denied to him elsewhere. There has followed over six years of limbo as far as the authorities are concerned.

In that time [name removed] has taught himself spoken and written English to a very high level, has learnt how to fit in to British society and culture, and has embraced Christianity. In January 2005 he was baptised and made a member of Bishop Street Methodist Church, and for nearly 5 years he has been an active and enthusiastic part of our Church life, attending worship, joining in with bible studies, and social events and training to be part of the City Centre Street Pastors team.

[Name removed] now has a wide circle of friends in the UK, from the Methodist Church at Bishop Street and a range of other churches where he has met people, from his gym activities in Leicester and around the Midlands, from the many people he has got to know who have helped him to learn English, develop computer skills, and from 5 years of sociable living.

In April 2009, his last-ditch asylum claim was refused, but was given a right to appeal – apparently quite unusual at this stage in such a case. His preliminary hearing for this is on April 29th 2009, and if allowed, he will get a full hearing on May 12th 2009. It is for these hearings that we want as much support from this petition as possible.

It would be a grossly unreasonable act to return [name removed] to Afghanistan, a place he had to leave when he was 10 years old, where he has no immediate relatives, no friends, and no one who would be disposed to help him, in a country where assistance from outside is all but impossible. As a Christian he would find it impossible to work or express his religion in any form. It is not safe for any Christians to practise their faith even in Kabul currently, as shown by the gunning down of a Western Christian in Kabul since the Human Rights report above, and certainly not for Afghan Christians who are considered apostates.

Leicester is clearly his home. He has a wide circle of friends, contacts and opportunities, and would love the chance to fully contribute to society.

If you agree that [name removed] should not be returned to Afghanistan, please print of the attached model letter & petition, sign them and get as many others as you can to sign and return to below as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Revd Jill Marsh on behalf of the Campaign

Petitions/model letters should be returned to:
Friends of [name removed]
C/o Bishop Street Methodist Church
10A BishopStreet
by Monday May 11th, so that we can present them at [name removed]’s hearing.

End of Bulletin:

Source for this Message:
Friends of [name removed]

John O
- e-mail:
- Homepage:


Hide the following comment

"belongs to"

28.04.2009 17:06

I have trouble with the idea that anyone belongs TO anywhere. it suggests ownership over people by places, which of course is rather strange. i've mentioned this before but no-one has responded adequately as to why someone should belong TO anywhere - it's like they're commodities of some sort.

perhaps in future NCADP should simply write "belongs in", to avoid this problem?