An undocumented Afghan man living in the United Kingdom has been reportedly told by the Home Office that he may have to go back to Afghanistan.
Warning: This story has details of a violent homophobic attack and might be distressing to some readers.
Ahmad, 29, arrived in the United Kingdom when he was 10 years old as an unaccompanied minor and was placed in foster care. However, for the past eight months the Afghan refugee has remained in detention.
Last week, the Home Office issued a letter to Ahmad telling him he will remain in detention and that his removal to Afghanistan was pending, The Times reported.
Our Afghan client “Ahmad” is featured in @thetimes today.
He is gay. He has spent 8 MONTHS in detention. He came to the UK when he was 10 which was 19 YEARS AGO. He was told *last week* by the @ukhomeoffice that his removal to #Afghanistan is pendinghttps://t.co/Gjs04Pcwt8
— Bella Sankey (@BellaSankey) August 25, 2021
The Taliban Is Targeting LGBTQI+ Afghans
With the Taliban recently rising to power again in the war torn country Ahmad and other LGBTQIA+ Afghans are in danger of being targeted by the extremist military group.
Last week, the Taliban reportedly killed a gay man by chopping up his body into pieces to show what they would do to anyone who openly identifies as LGBTQIA+ in Afghanistan.
Thousands of other Afghans in the UK also remain in limbo as Home Office statistics show 2,881 Afghan asylum seekers are awaiting an initial decision on their claim and a further 236 cases are under review.
The UK government has promised to resettle 5,000 Afghans, but recently removed key guidance documents that is necessary for immigration.
The government said the documents were “no longer relevant to the current situation”, after the Taliban seized power following a rapid advance, but no new documentation has been made accessible.
Australia Urged To Be Assist Queer Afghans
In Australia The Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council called for the Federal Government to make sure their response to the crisis in Afghanistan be inclusive of LGBTQIA+ people.
“AGMC will commit to advocating for the non-discriminatory treatment of LGBTIQ+ forcibly displaced people from Afghanistan in the coming months, and urges other organisations, especially those providing resettlement services, to recognise and accommodate for the unique experiences of LGBTIQ+ forcibly displaced peoples,” the council said
The AGMC also supported the seven step plan outlined by the Refugee Council of Australia and provided their own suggestions which included providing urgent financial assistance and resources to refugee-led organisations, who are leading the work in the resettlement of LGBTIQ+ forcibly displaced people in our communities.
President of the Australian GLBTI Multicultural Council Giancarlo de Vera said a lot needs to be done to ensure the safety of LGBTQIA+ Afghans.
“Cultural and religious challenges are often barriers to family reunion applications. Organisations that provide assistance with humanitarian visa applications, must be properly resourced to support LGBTIQ+ forcibly displaced peoples coming properly”.
Acting Chair of the Forcibly Displaced People Network Renee Dixson, said tLGBTQIA+ people in Afghanistan will most likely be subjected to honour killings and conversion practices if they remain in the country.
“Australia needs to ensure quick pathways to safety to all Afghan people at risk of violence,” De Vara said.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
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