Mehdi must stay, hello, hello…
FC United community coach Mehdi Mirzae, 26, is a national of Afghanistan and long time resident of Manchester. He is currently detained in Dungavel IRC and due to be forcibly removed from the UK at 3am on Charter Flight PVT 800 on Tuesday 23rd November to Afghanistan.
He was detained by the UK Border Agency on 2nd November 2010. Manchester is where he lives and Manchester is where he must stay
Since arriving in the UK in 2003 Mehdi has established himself as part of the local community in Manchester. He has tirelessly worked to increase the opportunities for young people to get involved in sport, particularly football. He set up a local football team called Omid FC and also finds the time to volunteer with the Manchester Hazara Community Organisation as a sports co-ordinator. He has also become involved with coaching for FC United’s community programme.
Mehdi is the driving force behind the Omid FC as they have travelled across the country playing football with other teams in different cities. Mehdi organised a tournament himself for other grassroots teams in Manchester and he has been recognised by local football teams and community organisations for his commitment and dedication and promotion of the game as a force for community cohesion and social inclusion for young people.
In 2006, in Manchester, Mehdi was brutally attacked by an unknown assailant who stabbed him in the eye with a screwdriver. This attack has had a serious impact on Mehdi’s physical health and emotional and mental wellbeing. Mehdi has been left with hearing, sight and other sensory difficulties. He was also further traumatised by the attack, becoming more depressed and fearing for his safety. Despite this attack and the difficulties he faced he still found the energy to promote football and support young people to get involved in the game.
Mehdi fled Afhganistan after his family were murdered due to his father’s involvement in an anti-government group. Mehdi was detained by the authorities in Afghanistan and tortured but his uncle helped him escape and he fled to the UK.
Afghanistan is recognised as a failed state (listed as the 6th worst). This means: A state having little or no governance, endemic corruption, profiteering by ruling elites, very poor Human Rights, the government cannot/will not protect the population from others or itself, massive internal conflict, forced internal/external displacement, institutionalised political exclusion of significant numbers of the population, progressive deterioration of welfare infrastructure (hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses) not adequate to meet health, needs, progressive economic decline of the country as a whole as measured by per capita income, debt, severe child mortality rates, poverty levels.
Despite this the UK Border Agency refuse to believe that Mehdi’s life is under threat if he returns to Afghanistan. However, Mehdi’s uncle informed him that the authorities have been searching for him since he fled the country in 2003 and believes his life would be in danger and he would be tortured again if he returned. Mehdi therefore fears for his life if he is returned to Afghanistan and is increasingly distressed and distraught by his imminent removal to Kabul.
Friends of Mehdi in Manchester are campaigning to keep an outstanding member of their community where he belongs in Manchester.
What you can do
1. Contact Theresa May, Home Secretary
Ask her to exercise her discretionary powers to stop the flight, release Mehdi Mirzae from detention and to grant him protection in the UK. Please remember to quote Mehdi Mirzae’s Home Office Reference number in any correspondence: M119648.
Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 7035 4745
Please let the campaign know of any Emails/faxes sent:
C/o “Jenny Lomas” to email@example.com