Afghan interpreter can stay in Leicester after UK Border Agency U-turn
An Afghan man who was wounded in a Taliban bomb attack while working as an interpreter for British forces has won the right to settle in Leicester after a U-turn by the UK Border Agency.
Mohammad, as he wishes to be known, has been granted refugee status despite initially being told he could not stay in this country.
The 25-year-old is still scarred by shrapnel wounds five years after he was caught in a bomb attack which killed a British captain.
He fled to Britain in July 2011 after receiving death threats from the Taliban, but his application to stay in this country was turned down.
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Border agency investigators said they did not have evidence of how Mohammad was injured, that he was an Afghan or that his life was under threat if he had stayed in his country.
Following publicity about his case, which "led to new and significant information", the agency withdrew its decision and agreed to review Mohammad's application.
Leicester East MP Keith Vaz, who supported Mohammad in his bid for refugee status, said this evening that the border agency had "admitted that the most basic checks had not been carried out by case officers".
Mr Vaz said he was "delighted" Mohammad could now stay in the UK.
"He should never have had to go through such a lengthy process with the UKBA bureaucracy," he said. "No-one should have to wait for so long.
"We owe asylum to interpreters who have risked their lives for our forces.
"This sets a very important precedent for future decisions, and I hope it will allow others in his position to be shown the same compassion."