Wiltshire

Afghan teenager in Swindon a step closer to deportation

Mohammed Pardesi (right) and his girlfriend Emma Williams before his arrest
Image caption An immigration judge said it was 'idle speculation' that Mr Pardesi would be at real risk in Afghanistan

An Afghan teenager has been transferred to an immigration removal centre despite a campaign to keep him in the UK.

Mohammed Pardesi, 18, who has lived in Swindon for two years, said he fled Afghanistan when his brother was killed by the Taliban.

He has lost his appeal to stay in the UK and was arrested on Monday.

Supporters, including his girlfriend, staged a protest outside the police station where he was held overnight.

The UK Border Agency said a judge had found Mr Pardesi "embellished" his claim for protection.

'He's my life'

Girlfriend Emma Williams, from Upper Stratton, said she would go with him if he is deported to Afghanistan.

"If he goes, then I'm going with him because he's my life. He's everything to me and I don't want to lose that."

She and her mother, Sue, were allowed to visit him in his police cell on Monday evening.

Mother and daughter said they would continue the fight to keep him in the UK.

Sue Williams said: "He doesn't deserve this. He's not a criminal."

'Carefully considered'

The UK Border Agency said Mr Pardesi had been taken from Gablecross Police Station to an immigration removal centre near London.

A spokesman said previously: "All cases are carefully considered and the UK Border Agency will offer protection to anyone found by us - or the courts - to be at risk.

"Mr Pardesi's claim was turned down by both the UK Border Agency and by the Immigration Tribunal where a judge found he had embellished his claim for protection in the UK in an attempt to give it greater weight.

"We would rather individuals like Mr Pardesi leave the UK voluntarily when they have no basis to remain here, but if individuals defy the decisions of the courts we are left with no choice but to detain them and enforce their removal."

He quoted Immigration Judge Harmston as saying it was "idle speculation on his part to suggest that he would be at real risk of being targeted by the Taliban in Kabul..."

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