Kent

Failed Ramsgate asylum seeker 'must be returned to UK'

Samim Bigzad
Image caption Samim Bigzad sought asylum in Kent after spending time in the Calais migrant camp

An asylum seeker was flown to Afghanistan despite a High Court judge ruling he must be returned to the UK after being deported.

Samim Bigzad, 22, had been living in Ramsgate, Kent, after entering the UK illegally two years ago in order to join his father who was granted asylum.

He was in Istanbul airport waiting for a connecting flight to Kabul when he was given the news of the injunction.

Mr Bigzad was still put on a flight to Kabul, his lawyers said.

When contacted by the BBC on Wednesday, Mr Bigzad said he feared for his life and had contacted the British Embassy in Kabul requesting an airline ticket back to the UK as soon as possible.

"I am scared of the Taliban," he added.

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The High Court injunction states Mr Bigzad is to be returned on the "next available flight", Jamie Bell from the legal firm Duncan Lewis said.

Mr Bigzad had been told at 08:00 BST on Tuesday that he would be flown to Turkey at 11:00, Mr Bell said.

'Scared and intimidated'

The injunction was granted by Justice Morris at the High Court out-of-hours service at 21:55 BST and the Home Office were informed at 22:00 BST, 30 minutes before Mr Bigzad's onward flight was scheduled to depart, Mr Bell told the BBC.

"The Home Office [needed] to take all possible steps to take him off the flight departing to Kabul," Mr Bell said.

His lawyers are seeking an explanation from the Home Office as to why he was put on the flight.

Mr Bell said: "Samim is feeling very scared and anxious and isn't sure what's going on. He's feeling very intimidated."

'Deeply concerned'

Last month an airline pilot refused to fly Mr Bigzad when he became hysterical as he was put on a plane at Heathrow.

"We remain deeply concerned about the legality of the Home Office's actions in the course of this enforced removal and we now seek to challenge the legality of these actions," Mr Bell said.

The Home Office said it was not able to comment on ongoing cases.

Mr Bigzad sought asylum in Kent after spending time in the Calais migrant camp.

He said he feared he would be beheaded by the Taliban because of his work for a US contractor when he lived in Afghanistan.

His father, for whom he has been the main carer, has lived in Margate for 10 years, and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).

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