Support swells for Gorleston student Murad as MP slams immigration grab

Kim Mead (Murad’s Learning Support Assistant), Ross Davenport (Murad’s Sporting Mentor), Dame Kelly

Kim Mead (Murad’s Learning Support Assistant), Ross Davenport (Murad’s Sporting Mentor), Dame Kelly Holmes and Murad Khan. - Credit: Archant

The seizure of a popular Afghan student by immigration officials has been slammed by an MP as 'heavy handed'.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous.February 2014.Picture: James Bass

Waveney MP Peter Aldous.February 2014.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said the way in which East Norfolk Sixth Form College student Murad Khan was taken from his home gave him 'serious cause for concern', and he has now thrown his weight behind a campaign to keep the teen in the country.

Murad, who is studying English, maths and sport at the Gorleston college, was seized from his Lowestoft home last Sunday and taken to a detention centre near Lincoln.

He was released four days later after an appeal was lodged, but the threat of being sent back to danger in Afghanistan is still hanging over him as the Home Office considers his case. Mr Aldous, who met with the talented 18-year-old sportsman this week, said: 'There are three issues arising out of it from my perspective. Firstly, the way he was taken away was completely inappropriate and heavy handed in the circumstances.

'Secondly, he's not aware he has any family back in Afghanistan. His father, who was a policeman, was killed, as was his uncle. I think there would be legitimate concerns for his safety if he was to go back there.

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'Thirdly, he's someone who has well and truly integrated into the local community. He plays cricket locally and does a lot of charity work. In many ways he's a model citizen.'

Murad arrived in the UK illegally around five years ago.

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Mr Aldous has now written to the immigration service setting out his concerns and backing Murad's appeal to stay in the UK. A Home Office spokesman said: 'Detention and removal are essential parts of effective immigration controls. It is vital these are carried out with dignity and respect and we take the welfare of our detainees very seriously.

'When someone is found not to need our protection, we expect them to leave the country voluntarily. Where they do not, we will seek to enforce their departure.'

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