Last chance to save autistic asylum seeker from deportation

Iranian asylum seeker Javad Ebrahimi with Terry Alexander, who welcomed him in to her home in Hastings. SUS-170504-163832001
Iranian asylum seeker Javad Ebrahimi with Terry Alexander, who welcomed him in to her home in Hastings. SUS-170504-163832001

A Hastings woman who took a vulnerable young asylum seeker under her wing, is to launch one final bid to keep him in the country.

Javad Ebrahimi arrived in the UK as a child ten years ago, following the death of his parents in the Bam earthquake in 2003.

Iranian asylum seeker Javad Ebrahimi, who lives in Hastings. SUS-170504-163818001

Iranian asylum seeker Javad Ebrahimi, who lives in Hastings. SUS-170504-163818001

He was put in an orphanage in Tehran where he was forced to learn how to use guns and subjected to extreme religious teaching before fleeing to the UK.

He arrived in Hastings in 2013 and was taken in by tutor Terry Alexander over two years ago.

Javad has learning difficulties, mental health problems and post traumatic stress disorder and last summer he was diagnosed with autism.

His last asylum application was turned down in 2016.

Terry said: “We are going to make one last asylum application. If that does not work, we will try a paid application which will take into consideration the length of time he has been here.”

The family has been left in limbo, not knowing when that knock on the door will come.

Terry said: “We are very concerned. In doing anything we run the risk of drawing attention to him, which could lead to him being detained and sent back.

“But if we don’t do anything, he will be left in limbo, not knowing what is going on.”

Javad says he is 24, but has no proof of his age. A Home Office bone density scan places his age at 26.

He also has no proof of identity, which could prove a problem if sent back to Iran.

Despite his autism diagnosis, Javad has flourished in recent months.

Terry is teaching him maths, English and how to play the guitar and the recorder. Javad has excelled in sewing classes run by a local autism support group.

He has also got involved with a community project, digging over wasteland and planting flowers and seeds.

Terry said: “He has moments when he’s obviously enjoying himself and he’s so much better at socialising with people now. He’s looking more confident. He will laugh and give hugs to someone he knows which he would not have done a year ago.”

But there are limits on what Javad can do, much to his frustration, and he is not allowed to work. Terry said: “He feels like he is wasting his life at the moment.”

Terry is urging people to visit www.supportjavad.com and write a letter in support of his latest asylum application.