Socialist Worker

Asylum seeker granted limited leave to stay but says the fight isn't over

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2724

Abdul Safi (left) will end his hunger strike after he was granted limited leave to remain in Britain

Abdul Safi (left) will end his hunger strike after he was granted limited leave to remain in Britain


An asylum seeker in Glasgow finished his hunger strike after the Home Office granted him limited leave to remain in Britain on Thursday.

Abdul Safi stitched his lips shut and went on hunger strike on Monday in protest at 12 years of living in legal limbo.

Abdul said, “I would like to thank everyone who came and helped me and all those who sent me messages of support and solidarity.

“I will take legal advice if I could challenge this limited leave and demand for the full leave that I am entitled to.

“I am here for nearly 13 years and I need justice.”

Abdul pitched up a tent outside the Home Office buildings in Glasgow on Monday demanding the right to stay in safety in Britain. A security manager came out the following day to persuade Abdul to finish his protest, promising, “They’ve given you limited leave to remain.”

The Home Office worker said the decision was “going out in the post today”, but Abdul refused to stop his hunger strike until the decision came through.

Confronted

His case shows up the hypocrisy and racism of the British state.

Abdul and one of his sons fled Afghanistan, a country destroyed by the US, British and Nato invasion and occupation, after a threat to his life. His wife and other children are still stuck in the country.

Once Abdul came to Glasgow, he was confronted with Britain’s racist immigration system.

Mohammad N Asif, founder of the Scottish Afghan Society and a former refugee, was one of the people who went down to support Abdul. At the beginning of the hunger strike, Asif told Socialist Worker, “Some people say the ‘system is broken’ but the Home Office is not broken.

“It is a well-designed system to intentionally dehumanise asylum seekers and discourage people from coming here.”

Refugees should be allowed to come to Britain safely, immigration detention centres should be shut down and asylum seekers granted indefinite leave to remain.


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