29/05/2003

Iranian asylum protester allowed to stay in UK

The Iranian asylum seeker, who sewed up his eyes, lips and ears in protest at the move by the Home Office to seek his deportation, has won a reprieve.

Abas Amini has been refusing food and water for eight days, and doctors have said that he could only have days to live. Mr Amini has also indicated that he will set fire to himself if any attempt is made to put him on a drip.

The 33-year-old Kurd, currently living in Nottingham, has claimed that Iranian authorities will execute him if he is repatriated. Mr Amini, who has connections with the communist opposition to the Iranian government, was granted asylum two months ago but the Home Office began proceedings last week to repeal the decision.

However, an independent tribunal today ruled against the Home Office and granted him leave to stay in the country. But despite his victory Mr Amini pledged to continue his protest in support of other asylum seekers.

A Home Office spokesperson is reported as saying that the situation was "deeply regrettable".

(GMcG)

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