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Crunch day for student faced with deportation


A 19-year-old student from Kent today told an immigration tribunal in London that he lived in fear of returning to Afghanistan.

Husien Panahi, from Chatham, said that if he was sent back his only option would be to live in refugee camps and join the police or the military or work as an interpreter.

All of these would put his life in danger because Afghans working with Western authorities were regarded as spies.

He is appealing against a Home Office decision not to renew his “leave to stay” in Britain.

Husien came to Britain four years ago after both his parents were killed by the Taliban, but since then has gained 11 GCSEs and been offered several university places.

Afghan expert Peter Marsden, who lived in the country for 18 years, said the fact that Husien was a member of the Hazari tribe put him in even greater danger.

He could be expected to join the Hazari militia and could end up fighting the Taliban.

Some members of his tribe, said Mr Marsden, might be angry that Husien’s father had fought with the Taliban, all be it under duress. They might even kill him.

But Si Man, speaking on behalf on the Home Office, said there was no evidence to suggest his life would be in danger if he want back.

After the hearing, which lasted two and a half hours, Husien said he felt exhausted but grateful it was over. He will learn the result of the tribunal in two to four weeks.

More than 20 of Husien’s fellow students joined him on his journey to London, wearing Save Husien T-shirts to show their support.

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