New Internationalist

Kicked out of Britain… to a Kabul nightmare

Those of you who read my earlier blog and updates will know that Mr A, a 19 year old Afghan asylum seeker, was at risk of being deported last month. Sadly, this happened on 15 June, and he is now back in Afghanistan, facing a very uncertain future. I have just been sent this update:

Mr A was put on a BMI charter flight full of asylum seekers on Tuesday 15 June.  Each asylum seeker was accompanied by five police officers. As Mr A put it, 'it is like I am a criminal, but what have I done wrong?' Two police officers accompanied him even to go to the toilet. One person was going crazy, shouting and crying the whole time.

Luckily a friend of a friend of someone who took a leaflet about Mr A's situation was able to meet the flight in Kabul. She was his only trustworthy contact in a place where he did not know or trust anyone. If asked, he said he was from Kabul: he did not dare risk them knowing the danger he had escaped in Khandahar. But he did not know anything about Kabul. He was too scared to go out, too scared to go and change the little money he had with him, too scared to go anywhere where they might ask anything about him. Yet he desperately needed to find work and somewhere to live. 

Meanwhile many of Mr A's friends in the UK were busy making contacts with organizations in Afghanistan who might be able to help him find work or accommodation. On 30 June, the Norwegian Refugee Council found him a job in Kunduz, a town in the north of Afghanistan. On his first night there he awoke at 3am to the sound of fighting. He sent a text message: '20 people of Taliban dropping in the city. The Taliban are stopping the American army now they are fighting, it is very scary, it is very close to us.'

Then a few hours later: 'Now fighting has stopped. Taliban are dead. I not sure who else died but lots of people injured. All the city is closed, it is very scary.'

A few days later: 'Can I ask one question? Can I go back to UK or another country?  Here is so horrible, every day is fighting, bombs exploding. Thanks, bye bye.'

He has no family contacts. He has no home. All around him is fighting. This is the safe country he has been sent back to.

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About the author

Jo Lateu a New Internationalist contributor

Having joined New Internationalist in 1998 as distribution manager, Jo moved into the editorial team in 2008, where she tries to keep her colleagues in order. Failing that, she edits, proofs and commissions pieces for the magazine and website and waters the plants when she remembers.

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