Derby asylum seeker who helped British Army could be thrown out of country within days

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

An Afghanistan-born asylum seeker who has been living in Derby and served alongside the British armed forces could be thrown out of the country within days.

Campaigners hoping to keep Hafizzulah Husseinkhel in the country say an “emergency” legal attempt has been made to keep him in the UK after he was detained by UK authorities last week.

Mr Husseinkhel, who worked as an interpreter for the British Army, has been facing deportation since June after his asylum bid was originally rejected by the Government.

He attempted to overturn the decision by applying for a judicial review at London's High Court, but this too was also refused.

Should this last bid to keep him in the UK fail he will likely return to Austria – the first country he was fingerprinted in as an asylum seeker - by December 22.

But Mr Husseinkhel is fearing for his life because he believes he will be made to go back to Afghanistan where he could be endangered due to his links to the British Army.

Pictured is Hafizzulah Husseinkhel, of Brook Street, Derby, is facing deportation after his application to the Government to stay in Derby was initially rejected.

Pictured is Hafizzulah Husseinkhel, of Brook Street, Derby, is facing deportation after his application to the Government to stay in Derby was initially rejected.

Mr Husseinkhel told the Derby Telegraph earlier this year he believed he should stay in the country because of his links with the British Army and he "served British people".

The 26-year-old worked with the armed forces in Afghanistan as an interpreter between 2008 and 2012 and since then has earned glowing references from British Army regiments.

More than 8,700 people have signed a petition calling for him to be granted UK citizenship.

Steve Cooke, from the Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity group, has been supporting Mr Husseinkhel's case since it first came to light in the summer.

Mr Cooke said: “Last week Hafizzulah went to Loughborough to sign on at the immigration centre. But the immigration people decided to detain him without further notice – they handcuffed him and took him to a detention centre in Oxford.

Hafizzulah Husseinkhel faces a fight to stay in the UK

Hafizzulah Husseinkhel faces a fight to stay in the UK

“We immediately went to his legal team who were already preparing a fresh asylum claim. Now his barrister is filing a number of different legal submissions to try and get him released. We are hoping these submissions will be successful and we’ll be able to get him out on bail later this week.

“His removal papers state he could be removed from Wednesday, December 6 and December 22. We think the legal admissions will give us a chance to continue the fight.

“Hafizullah is very worried about the situation.”

After serving the army, Mr Husseinkhel fled Afghanistan in 2012 due to fears of being targeted. He managed to smuggle himself into several countries via public transport and arrived in Austria in 2014.

Hafizzulah fears for his safety should he be removed from the UK

Hafizzulah fears for his safety should he be removed from the UK

He claims he managed to get from France to the UK in January 2016 by hiding in the back of a lorry.

While in Derby, Mr Husseinkhel claimed he had been living off a Government grant of £36 a week and was studying languages at Derby College two days a week.

Representing Mr Husseinkhel is legal firm Imperium Chambers.

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A statement from the company said: “Paul Turner, a barrister and the head of Imperium Chambers will be making an emergency application to the High Court in London challenging both the lawfulness of his detention and the intention to remove him from the United Kingdom.

“If necessary this will be renewed to the Court of Appeal given the Secretary of State's actions in detaining a sick man who has put his life on the line for the Crown over several years.

“It is unclear why he has not benefited or been considered for leave given previous grants and the publicised "review" of refusing status to those who have served HM Government's armed forces.”

The Home Office has previously stated asylum seekers should claim asylum in the first safe country they arrive in. It added it would not comment further on individual cases.

To see the petition click here.