Man, 27, snatched by immigration officers from March restaurant says turning away from Islam could endanger his life if he's returned to Bangladesh
PUBLISHED: 16:53 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:53 11 April 2017
Snatched by immigration officers from a March Indian restaurant where he had been working, a 27 year-old Bangladeshi says he fears his rejection of Islam could endanger his life if he is sent back home.
Al Amin has been held at the Harmondsworth detention centre since last July while he continues to fight a deportation ruling.
He has appealed to NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay for help and is urging the Home Office “to protect my personal liberty and fundamental human rights, where as a great nation United Kingdom has done so before and I firmly believe will continue to do so.
“But unfortunately instead I have been detained for over nine months. I was also irrationally advised to relocate somewhere else regardless of that I strongly held these views, I practice, and these are my true identity.”
Mr Amin was working at the Spice Bank in High Street when he was detained along with three colleagues – they were later released but Mr Amin was accused of over staying his visa and taken into custody.
He is desperate to remain in the UK and told me: “Please highlight the fact that I am an atheist and the subsequent danger I will face.”
He said: “During my stay in the UK, I was exposed to liberal and freethinking as part of my integration into western society.
“I became disillusioned with the dogma of Islam where I had been indoctrinated since birth in a country where Islam is 90 per cent of the populace belief.
“I have been expressing my views about atheism, Islam, extremist and related problems. In my country rejecting Islam is far worse that converting to other religion for the fact that I am an apostate and non believer.”
Mr Amin said: “I fear persecution on religious grounds which are systematically carried out not only by the state but by extremist group, families, and the community.
“The government simply refuse and are reluctant to prosecute those who were arrested and/or convicted for such crimes.
“I also can be accused of antisocial behaviour, blasphemy and be prosecuted under an act which prohibits, renouncing or criticising Islamic values. Bangladesh will be a death trap for me right now as religious fundamentalism is on a high scale and if forced to return there it would be a suicide mission.”
He said: “My secularist attitude and my views towards gay rights, women’s rights, freedom of belief, expression, conscience, thought and freedom of speech has made me a vulnerable person.
“My morality and principle of life and belief is not consistent with the Bangladeshi conservative Muslim society. Millions of people are usually very intolerant with these opinions and the way of life, they find it provocative and wish to punish who held such views. It is a society where apart from marriage all others relationship s are forbidden and can be punished even with death sentence.”
He said: “While in the UK I have not done anything that goes against this country. I was no burden to the society and I am no harm or threat to the public.
“I have studied here and I have contributed to the economy.”
Mr Amin said: “This detention is completely unlawful because there is no such timescale how long a person can be detained for no reason or no offence.
“And because of this I have ended up with severe depression and many physical illnesses.
“I took complete responsibility for my failure of compliance and I have apologised sincerely again and again and begged for mercy and one chance to provide supportive evidence for my claim.
“But the Home Office has not been given any consideration of my situation or nothing has been taken into account by them.”
He said that during the seven and half years he lived and worked in March “everyone adored me for my decency, politeness and good behaviour.
“I was a young joyful male known to many locals.
“But now I have fallen apart and I am totally broke. Life has never been very kind to me but it was not that cruel either before.”
He said his condition had worsened because “my family and friends have severed ties with me and left me abandoned because of my exceptional opinion and believes.
“I have nobody here to provide me with a little support. I have nobody to come to the court as a witness; I am all alone.”
A spokesman for Mr Barclay’s office said: “In short we have raised it with the Home Office on a number of occasions but there were material inconsistencies in his claims.”