Somerset charity supports Afghan boy's asylum claim

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Fahim Asefi and Richard Collins
Image caption,
Fahim (l) is being fostered by Richard Collins

A Somerset charity has launched an appeal to prevent the deportation of an Afghan teenager from Dorset.

Fahim Asefi said his parents and sister were killed in Afghanistan forcing him and his younger brother to flee. They arrived in the UK in April 2009.

The 17-year-old said: "I lost my family and I couldn't stay there anymore because my life was in danger."

Somerset Racial Equality Council (SREC) has set up an online petition ahead of Fahim's hearing on Friday.

The charity is currently supporting five unaccompanied minors living in Somerset who are seeking asylum.

'One in a million'

Kira McCoy, a youth worker at SREC, said: "Young people like Fahim and his brother Zubair are one in a million and it's important to have them in the community.

"They deserve to be able to live and not feel threatened or live in fear."

Fahim's supporters say because of his age he has been told he will be deported back to Afghanistan as he is due to turn 18 on 5 January 2011.

"This court case or judgement on my life is probably one of the most important judgements in my life so I am really worried about it, I am always thinking about it," said Fahim, who attends Preston School in Yeovil.

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said: "Each case will be considered individually with the best interests of the young person a primary consideration in the decision-making process."

A decision will be made on his asylum application within 28 days of the hearing. If this fails, his solicitors will have one more chance to appeal the decision before the deportation date.

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