Manchester writer faces deportation

The guys at the Didsbury Arts Festival are campaigning for Sayed Sadat, Manchester writer and asylum seeker:

Help us fight the forced removal of Manchester-based writer Sayed Sadat to Afghanistan, where his fiance and many members of his family were murdered. Sayed was detained last weekend and is due to be deported to Afghanistan this coming Wednesday 22nd September on an Afghan Airlines charter flight.

His life is in danger if he is forced to return to Afghanistan, and it is likely that he would take his own life rather than wait to be killed.

Sayed fled Afghanistan in 2006, when he was 16 years old. His life was threatened by a former Mujahedeen commander when it was discovered he was secretly meeting with the commander’s daughter. They had planned on marrying. The commander killed his daughter, and since Sayed left Afghanistan most of his family have also been killed as revenge for protecting him.

He first went to his uncle’s home in Pakistan, then when men were sent to Pakistan to kill him, he was forced to flee. Despite evidence including newspaper reports on the murders, the Home Office have decided that it is safe for Sayed to return to Afghanistan.

He has not been given the chance to launch an appeal against the decision as he was taken into custody at a routine appointment last weekend.

Please help us to stop this imminent deportation so that a proper appeal can be launched.

You can help by printing and signing the letter below, faxed (or posted first class on Saturday if fax not possible) to Home Secretary Theresa May at

Fax: 020 7035 4745

Address: Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Department,
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF

or copy into EMAIL: mayt@parliament.uk

Please copy and paste the letter into Word or equivalent to fax – – I can’t figure out how to attach a doc in facebook and we don’t have much time.

Thank you for your help.

************************

Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Department,
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 7035 4745

Dear Home Secretary,

Re: Sayed Nijab Sadat. Home Office Ref: S1350408

Sayed Nijab Sadat is 20 years old and is currently being detained at Harmondsworth. Sayed has removal directions to Kabul, Afghanistan for the 22 September 2010 on flight PVT800 at 04:00. His appeal for asylum has been refused. After looking at Sayed’s case it is clear his life would be endangered if he is forcibly removed. I urge you to look more closely at his case and to grant him sanctuary in the UK.

Sayed fled Afghanistan in 2006, when he was 16 years old. His life was threatened by a former Mujahedeen commander when it was discovered he was secretly meeting with the commander’s daughter. Since Sayed left Afghanistan most of his family have been killed as revenge for protecting him.

Sayed’s family were farmers, he and the commander’s daughter wanted to marry but the difference in their status meant this was not possible as it would have been seen as a great insult. Despite this they continued to meet. When their relationship was discovered the commander executed his daughter in an ‘honour killing’ and demanded that Sayed’s father hand him over so that he could be executed as well. Sayed’s family chose instead to protect him, sending him to his uncle in Pakistan. Because of the extensive networks that cross Afghanistan and continue into Pakistan his family could not keep his whereabouts secret, and after men were sent to Pakistan in order to kill him Sayed was forced to flee.

The commander’s murder of his daughter was reported to the police, but as a former Mujahedeen commander he is above the law and no charges were brought. Without the protection of the police, and with the Afghan government unable to curb the power of former military commanders, Sayed had no choice other than to leave.

Sayed made his claim for asylum once he arrived in the UK. Despite evidence including newspaper reports his claim was refused and he was told that while it might be unsafe for him to return to the area he came from he would be safe in the capital, Kabul. This is not true. He was found in Pakistan and he will be found in Kabul. The Afghan government is unwilling and unable to protect Sayed. Many of his family have been killed for refusing to hand him over and no action has been taken by the authorities. Like many former Mujahedeen commanders the man seeking his life is powerful and has friends in government and amongst the factions fighting to take control of the country.

Since coming to the UK Sayed has struggled with mental health problems as a result of his experiences and the subsequent murder of his father and other family members. For the last two years he has been in the care of Manchester’s Early Intervention in Psychosis team. Even with all these problems Sayed has settled in the UK and has support and care from friends and services which is unavailable in Afghanistan. It is likely that if he is forcibly removed then he would take his own life rather than wait to be found and killed.

We, Sayed’s campaigners, friends and fellow community members are urging you as Home Secretary to cancel his removal proceedings and to support him in his fight to remain safe in the United Kingdom.

Yours sincerely,

Name: Address:

City: Date:

Update from the campaign

Thank you everyone for your support. Sayed’s removal has been stayed. This means that he is not being deported on Wednesday but he could still be deported at a future date.

Several other people due to be deported on the same charter flight have had their removals stayed following successful campaigns and/or last ditch efforts by their solicitors. Not everyone had support though and it seems as if several will still be deported.

Sayed can now apply for bail. If he’s successful he will be released and can return to Manchester. Otherwise he could remain in detention, which could last several months before they release him or attempt to deport him again.

Sayed has had his application for asylum turned down. He was detained and served with a removal notice before he or his solicitor had been informed that his appeal had also been turned down. He, like many others, was therefore denied due process.

Pressure on the Home Secretary helps. The UK Border Agency is aware of who has support. Often it does act with impunity but it can still be held to account, with individual cases and hopefully through a broader campaign. Hundreds of letters were sent to the Home Secretary in support of Sayed and other people due to be deported on the same flight. There is no doubt this influenced the immediate outcome and if support is able to continue there is good chance that Sayed, and others, will at last receive a fair hearing.

Sayed has asked me to thank everyone on his behalf. I’m not sure I can imagine how alone he must have felt at the prospect of being forcibly removed to a place where his life is in danger and most of his family have been killed. I hope he doesn’t feel quite as alone now.

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