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Teen Najibullah Hashimi 'over the moon' after winning deportation battle to Afghanistan

Sittingbourne student Najibullah Hashimi fled Afghanistan in 2006
Sittingbourne student Najibullah Hashimi fled Afghanistan in 2006

Friday the 13th proved to be lucky for Afghan teenager Najibullah Hashimi.

The 19-year-old had a phone call from his solicitor at 11am today telling him he had won the right to stay in the UK.

The decision comes exactly a week after his case was heard at London’s Taylor House Immigration and Asylum Tribunal Court.

It’s understood the trump card was an argument about how his removal would affect his two foster brothers, Tyler, 11, and Finlay, nine, who treat him like a sibling.

He said: “My solicitor rang me saying he’d got the letter with the decision and read it out to me. I was jumping up and down like crazy.

“It’s amazing I cannot believe it.

“The first person I rang was my foster dad. He was screaming down the phone and saying ‘come over I want to see you and celebrate’.”

The keen cricketer, his mother, sister and uncle fled the northern Afghan city of Baghlan in 2006 and moved to Pakistan after his father and brother were killed by an “area commander”.

Three years later, news reached them that this man had tracked them down.

As a result, they decided the teenager would flee to England.

Sittingbourne student Najibullah Hashimi with foster father Steve Griffiths
Sittingbourne student Najibullah Hashimi with foster father Steve Griffiths

He arrived on the back of a lorry in Dover, aged 14, on February 27, 2009.

After a short stay in Ashford, he was moved to a foster family in Sittingbourne before finally being taken in by Steve and Michelle Griffiths and their two children at their home in Faversham.

Najib barely spoke a word of English, but is now fluent.

He has since gone on to achieve 13 GCSEs and a pass in a level 3 BTEC diploma in sport.

In light of the good news, he plans to visit Canterbury College next week to find out about English courses with a view to going on to university to study PE.

“It’s amazing I cannot believe it. 

“The first person I rang was my foster dad. He was screaming down the phone and saying ‘come over I want to see you and celebrate’ ” - Najib Hashimi 

Mr Griffiths said: “The Home Office has 14 days to appeal the decision but we’re over the moon.

“It’s the end of a long battle.”

In previous appeals the teenager said he feared he would be killed if returned to Afghanistan.

He further argued that he had made a new life for himself here.

But the Home Office ordered his removal and he was due to be flown to the capital city of Kabul on March 18.

More than 2,300 people signed an online petition backing the Sittingbourne Community College student to remain in Britain.

As a result, he was released from an immigration removal centre in Dover on March 21, two days before his 19th birthday.

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