Socialist Worker

Don't deport Vahidi family to Iran

Issue No. 2215

Zahra and Farhad Vahidi at a protest against the arrest of demonstrators in Iran following last year

Zahra and Farhad Vahidi at a protest against the arrest of demonstrators in Iran following last year's election

The Home Office plans to deport a 17 year old Manchester College student and his family to Iran on Friday.

Farhad Vahidi, and his parents Mohammed and Zahra, fear that their lives will be in danger if they are forced to leave.

The human rights organisation Rapar believes the deportation is part of the North West pilot scheme looking at alternatives to detention for children and young people. This scheme was exposed in Socialist Worker (Tories secret plans to deport children,

“We are very surprised that this family have received removal instructions as all the information we have suggests there are currently no deportations from the UK to Iran,” a Rapar spokesperson said.

An Amnesty International report says hundreds of people have been detained and victimised following protests against the election result in Iran last year.

Farhad says, “We are afraid of returning to Iran. If we went back, we would be arrested and tortured or worse. Here in the UK, all my friends use Facebook but anyone who uses Facebook in Iran is risking arrest.'

Friends and neighbours are supporting the family and have signed a petition asking the Home Secretary to allow them to stay.

The family applied for asylum 2007 after they were forced to flee Iran.

On 30 June this year the family received a letter from the Home Office which said they could choose to return home themselves. If they did not, arrangements would be made to remove them.

On 14 July they were told that Home Office officials would arrive at 6.30am on 30 July to take them to the airport. They were given three plastic bags in which to pack their belongings.

The family’s solicitor contacted the Home Office showing that Mrs Vahidi's brother in Iran had been arrested and interrogated in Iran about their whereabouts. The deportation was postponed.

But the family has now been issued with a new deportation date for Friday 20 August.

For information on how to support the campaign please contact: Kath Grant, Rapar [email protected]

Write to the Home Secretary Theresa May and Immigration Minister Damian Green quoting Home Office reference numbers V1069256 and V1074729. You can fax them at 020 8760 3132 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

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Article information

Wed 18 Aug 2010, 16:27 BST
Issue No. 2215
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