London Indymedia

Abdi Ahmed: "England is the only place I can call home"

John O | 15.10.2008 14:02 | Migration | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Birmingham | London

"Somalia is not only a deadlock and a place of conflict generating many refugees, but for me a country that I simply do not call 'home'. I left the country when I was four years old. I have never been to Somalia since and my entire family is in the UK. I do not even speak Somali fluently enough to make my way around this country that I only know through stories."

This was the response of Abdi Ahmed when informed that he was to be deported to Somalia- a country that he had left when he was four years of age, 30 years ago. Abdi was raised and schooled in inner-city London and during his early to mid teens he fell into the wrong crowd and consequently over the years spent time in the UK Prison system for petty crimes. His most recent conviction was for an alleged assault on a prison officer, after which the Home Office applied to have him deported to Somalia.

Abdi was re-detained on Friday 10th with removal directions for yesterday Monday 13th but the flight was cancelled.

No to Double Punishment
Abdi has never been given any drug or alcohol rehabilitation. Abdi has done his time and paid for the crime. He is a product of society and deporting him after living in the U.K for 30 years would be a double punishment. He is an individual who has suffered enough, and wants to be rehabilitated.

All of his family are British Citizens and his siblings were born in the U.K. His family have well established lives and careers here. Abdi has no connections with Somalia, and finds it extremely disturbing to be sent to a place that he does not know. Somalia's Government is internationally unrecognized. Forcing Abdi to live in Somalia is not only dangerous due to the well-known political and social disorder there, but it would also destroy the private life that he has established here in the UK.

The emotional and psychological trauma that Abdi is experiencing is indescribable. He is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder as well as Shock not only due to his prolonged detention, but because of the fear that he may never see his family again. His family too are finding it a daily struggle to cope with the stress and pressures deliberately placed upon them by the Home Office. The family have suffered enough.

Abdi's sister who teaches English and Citizenship classes had this to say: "I find it extremely ironic that I have to teach people about the integrity and the fairness of the British system , whereas my own brother has experienced quite a different and more sinister side of the UK immigration system"

Abdi's story is featured in todays 'Indpendent'

Judge: 'You're a criminal, you'll be safe in Somalia'

Man who came here aged four can be sent back to war-torn country, judge rules

Much of the world's focus on Somalia in recent weeks has been on the bands of pirates seizing ships and threatening to blow them up. On dry land, the violence and chaos are even more staggering. Two years after being driven from the capital by Ethiopian and Government troops, Islamic insurgents have retaken large areas of the country - 10,000 citizens were killed in the fighting. Last month, a threat to shoot down planes paralysed Mogadishu airport, and almost 40,000 people fled their homes. This week African Union peacekeepers have been targeted. Nearly half of Somalia's eight million people are in need of food aid.
Full article: Robert Verkaik, Law Editor, The Independent, Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Abdi's sisters are asking for your help to keep their brother in the UK , they are collecting model letter and petitions

What you can do to help:

Write a letter to the: Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith, Secretary of State for the Home Office asking that Abdi Ahmed should not be removed from the UK. You can use the attached model letter AbdiAhmedJS.doc, or you can copy/amend/write your own version (if you do so, please remember to include the HO ref A1312117).

Print off attached petition, Abdipetition.doc, get as many signatures as you can.

Please return Model letter/petitions to:
Abdi Must Stay Campaign
C/o 10 Hindon Court
104 Wilton Road

End of Bulletin:

Source for this Message:
Abdi Must Stay Campaign /

John O
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