Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The man from Afghanistan

People keep asking me what happened to the man who inspired my quilt so I thought I'd so a public response... only the answer is that I don't know! I didn't do all of his case, just sat in on the interview as agents for his solicitors who were elsewhere in the country so I never got to the end of the story. Sorry folks. I can tell you though that he didn't know the telephone code for Kabul because he didn't have a telephone or any need to ring Kabul.

I would not be surprised however if he was refused and had to go through the appeal stage. At the time I also acted for the Home Office in these cases and was dealing with an appeal where an MDC activist had left Zimbabwe and claimed asylum immediately she was through immigration having told the immigration officer, quite truthfully that she had been invited to a wedding. Despite the clear danger MDC activists were in at the time, she was refused and I had to put the Home Office case. Which would have been fine save the main reasons she was refused is that when she was searched she did not have with her a pair of shoes the staff deemed suitable for a wedding ( she agreed saying she was going to buy here) and also had a note in her bag about plumbers in Harare. I was instructed to say that this (old crumpled note) indicated she was not in fear because she was planning house renovation. I did my duty in putting this argument but decided not to press the matter when the immigration Judge said,
"Miss Conway, there is all kinds of rubbish at the bottom of my handbag. How about yours?"


A little later the Home Secretary John Reid declared the Home Office "Unfit for purpose"