Kent foster family in fight over Afghan teenager's deportation

Part of Dover immigration removal centre
Image caption Najib Hashimi is being held at Dover's immigration removal centre ahead of deportation to Afghanistan

An asylum seeker is facing deportation to Afghanistan despite fearing for his life if he is returned to his homeland.

Najib Hashimi, 18, has been in the UK since 2009 and lived with a foster family in Kent, who said his father and brother were killed by the Taliban.

He is currently being held at Dover's immigration removal centre.

The UK Border Agency said individuals were returned to their countries if they do not need protection and have no legal basis to remain in the UK.

More than 2,300 people have signed a petition urging the Home Office to allow Mr Hashimi to remain in the UK.

His foster father, Steve Griffiths from Faversham, said he fled to Pakistan with his mother, who is still there, after his father and brother were killed.

'Scared and intimidated'

His uncle and mother then paid for him to be brought to the UK fearing his life was also in danger.

He arrived in Kent as an unaccompanied minor at the age of 14, unable to speak English, and went to school where he achieved 14 GCSEs.

"Najib is a boy that anyone would be proud to have as their son. He has tried so hard to make a life for himself in this country," Mr Griffiths said.

"He is being sent back to a war-torn country which has no protection for him. He's going to be dumped at the airport, where he's got no family.

"He's a very scared and intimidated young man."

Mr Griffiths said a last-ditch attempt was being made to try to prevent him from being deported later, with a request for a judicial review.

But he said if that failed he hoped his foster son would at least be able to find his way to Pakistan to be with his mother, even though he had no legal right in that country either.

Speaking from the immigration removal centre, Mr Hashimi said: "I've done everything. I've done education... I have a new life here.

"This country's given me so much and I'd love to give it back to them.

"I don't feel safe [in Afghanistan]. I have no-one to meet me, I have no-one to live with... I'm going to be in danger.

"I lost my brother and father. I don't want to lose my life."

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