Manchester asylum family's deportation fears


An Iranian family living in Manchester say their lives will be in danger if government officials go ahead with plans to deport them back to Iran.

Mohammed Vahidi applied for asylum in 2007 after he says he was linked to leaking details on Iran's nuclear industry.

But the application was refused and in June the family was told they would be sent back to Iran on Friday.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) said all applications were considered carefully.

Mr Vahidi says he fled with his wife and son after one of his friends, who published the information on Iran's nuclear programme, was killed.

After settling in the Gorton area of the city the family believed they would be granted asylum - but were notified of their imminent removal in June.

Mr Vahidi's son, Farhad, 17, said: "It's been stressful, painful and an absolute nightmare to live this [last] eight weeks," he said.

"It's absolutely crystal clear it [deportation] will happen if nothing changes in the next two days and we will be removed."

The family fear for their safety if they do return to the country, three years after fleeing.

"For a person like my father, who has been involved in a dangerous situation, it's very dangerous for him to go back to Iran," Farhad added.

"We're desperate for help. It is a life and death circumstance here for us.

"My mum says we are wishing for a miracle here, because going back isn't an alternative - this is risking our lives."

Since receiving the letter from the Home Office, the family has lodged new documents with officials which they hope will strengthen their case.

Jo Liddy, UKBA North West Regional Director, said: "We consider all applications for asylum in the UK very carefully on their individual merits, and will offer protection to those who need it.

"We only remove individuals that are found by the UK Border Agency and, where appropriate, by the courts, not to be in need of protection."

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