Welsh Refugee Council urgent call to stop detention and removal of 14 year old Afghan orphan

A 14 year old orphan has been arrested & detained in Campsfield Immigration Removal centre near Oxford, which exclusively holds adult males, and is due to be deported because the authorities claim not to believe he is under 18. His older brother has refugee status — the authorities accept that the older brother is under 18. . .As they say, do the maths.

Welsh Refugee Council today called on UKBA and Cardiff Council to act quickly to release Mashal Jabari, 14 years of age, from Campsfield detention centre, and to suspend removal directions until a full assessment of his age can be made. Welsh Refugee Council does not normally comment on individual cases, but in this instance believes that there are compelling compassionate grounds why this boy should be allowed to remain in the UK.

Zaki Jabar, aged 15, arrived in the UK alone and extremely traumatised in November 2008. He came from Afghanistan and when he left his father was missing presumed dead and his mother was sick. His family had been attacked after his father had given assistance to the American forces, and Zaki had seen his sister killed. He was placed in foster care in Leicester by Rutland Social Services and given Refugee Status. He is currently sitting his GCSEs. He was anxious to trace his younger brother Mashal.

Mashal Jabari arrived in the UK in October last year, and claimed asylum on arrival. By then he knew that both his parents were dead. He was assessed as being over 18 even though he said he was 14. He was sent to Cardiff where he was initially placed in the hostel for adult new arrivals. He was refused asylum in November. Welsh Refugee Council staff working in the hostel, who have now known Mashal for 4 months, have been extremely concerned because he seemed so clearly to be 14 rather than 18 and because he has been depressed and suicidal at the fear of being sent home to Afghanistan.

Mashal’s GP has stated in writing that Marshal appears to be under 18. Social workers in Cardiff are on record as saying that they think Mashal is under 18 following an initial assessment, but they have not carried out a full age assessment and so it has not been possible to persuade the Border Agency of his age.

Mashal said he had an older brother called Zaki who was also somewhere in the UK. Eventually, through a chance encounter, it has been possible for the 2 brothers to be reunited – they met last month in Leicester. Photos of the meeting show them with their arms around each other – Zaki the tall broad shouldered one, Mashal the small, boyish one.

7 thoughts on “Welsh Refugee Council urgent call to stop detention and removal of 14 year old Afghan orphan”

  1. I call upon the UKBA and Cardiff Council to act to prevent the unfair treatment and possible deportation from the UK.

    It appears all agencies believe Mashal Jabari is just 14 years of age.

    Mashal has suffered so much for someone so young and compassion needs to be shown in this case.

    With his brother being in the UK the future for Mashal should be in the UK and it is incumbent on the UKBA, Cardiff Council and ulltimately the UK government to release this young man and allow him to stay with his brother.

    Ramon Corria

  2. I can’t believe this is happening. After all this child’s family has sacrificed for this country, it is outrageous that he is being treated like this. It is incredibly distressing that any human being should have go through this, let alone a young child.

  3. Mashal is spending his third night in detention, he must be so scared, confused and disorientated. It’s so straight forward, he needs a proper age assessment, to be re-united with his brother and provided with the necessary services.

  4. This is a prime example of UKBA mishandling and lack of efficiency. The treatment of underage asylum seekers needs to be sensible, rational and humane. This case clearly has not been given proper thought by UKBA.

  5. Anyone can see that Mashal is clearly under 18. He’s a child who needs protecting. The problem is that the Border Agency don’t see a person, they see a statistic.

    Mashal is a symbol of the suffering of thousands of children who are victims of a needless war and it’s this Country’s duty to care for him.

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