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Friday 22nd
posted by Morning Star in Britain

Home Office position ‘remains unchanged’

by Felicity Collier

THE Home Office still plans to refuse an asylum-seeker the right to remain despite losing three court orders demanding his return to Britain after he was illegally deported to Afghanistan last week.

Samim Bigzad was finally returned to Britain on Sunday after spending five days in a hotel in Kabul where armed men were seen outside.

The 22-year-old says he is wanted by the Taliban because he worked for a US company while living in Afghanistan two years ago.

Yesterday, his solicitor said that further asylum claims could be made. But the Home Office saidZits position — to deport Mr Bigzad again — “remains unchanged.”

Jamie Bell of law firm Duncan Lewis told the Star that Mr Bigzad “is tired and overwhelmed. But he has always got a smile on his face and keeps going on.

“He’s struggling to believe that he is back with his friends and family, and is grateful.”

In order to keep Mr Bigzad in Kabul, the Home Office defied three court orders by senior judges. The battle finally came to an end on Saturday when the government lost a four-hour hearing at the Court of Appeal.

Mr Bigzad’s team has now opened contempt of court proceedings against the Home Office, with one immigration barrister claiming that Home Secretary Amber Rudd could face jail over the case.

Writing in the Independent, barrister Rachel Francis said the wrangling over Mr Bigzad’s fate “could land Amber Rudd in court for contempt and ultimately, in prison.”

Mr Bell also believes that the Home Office deliberately made the decision not to take Mr Bigzad off the the plane to Kabul.

On Wednesday night, Mr Bigzad slammed Ms Rudd for “playing” with his life.

“I was on the news, any time they will come and kill me,” he said.

Mr Bigzad is currently in Ramsgate with a family from the charity Refugees at Home.

Bridget Chapman from the Kent Anti-Racist Network has sent a freedom of information request to the Home Office asking how much it has spent on Mr Bigzad’s detention, security guards, legal fees and a flight which she says included seats “deliberately kept empty to facilitate the deportation.”

The Home Office has not made any comment to Mr Bigzad’s solicitors since his return.

In an email to the Star, it joked that it has a “proud history of granting asylum to those who need our protection.”