Iranian asylum seeker is here not because he pumps iron; he has integrated in society

The powers that be in the UK have found yet another reason to blast the laws and the rules governing the stay of the immigrants in the UK.


A letter by an Iranian to the UK Border Agency, saying he ‘had a large network of friends at the gymnasium’, has been cited by a Scottish judge in referring his case to Home Secretary Theresa May.

Already, the move has evoked criticism. Labour MP Frank Field, co-chair of the Parliamentary cross party group on balanced migration, has asserted: ‘When are we going to start living in the real world?’

Campaigners are also labeling the decision as “appalling”. Emma Boon of the TaxPayers’ Alliance has asserted: “If the occasional trip to the gym is enough to allow a failed asylum-seeker to appeal his deportation, taxpayers will wonder who can’t claim a right to stay.

“It’s appalling we are left picking up his bills. He should have been sent home years ago.”

The Iranian had first claimed asylum in 2005. But his pleas have repeatedly been rejected by the courts, which have favoured his deportation.

The criticism comes soon after a cat allegedly came to the rescue of an immigrant. May had only recently quoted the case of a Bolivian man, who was apparently allowed to stay in Britain as he and his partner had got a cat together.

It was later found the Home Secretary had allegedly quoted the immigration case out of context to substantiate her point of view on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Article deals with the right to a 'family life'.

The court was told the man has been with his girlfriend for four years. The judge said their joint purchase of a cat, Maya, reinforced his view that they had a strong family life.

The case of the Iranian too stands the danger of being quoted out of context in an attempt to establish lacunae in the laws and the rules.

As of now, the impression being given is that another man has managed to stay back in the UK because he is pumping iron in a gym.

The media is already flashing that the failed asylum seeker has been allowed to stay in UK because 'he goes to the gym'; and failed asylum seeker Amir Beheshti has escaped deportation as he has a social life which includes playing football and going to the gym.

The approach, to say the least, is unfair. The Iranian has only claimed his human rights would be violated if he was deported as he has ‘established a private life’.

In his plea for being allowed to stay, the 40-year-old has asserted he ‘had a large network of friends at the gymnasium, at five-a-side football, in coffee shops, at college, in the library and at their homes’.

Lord Glennie’s ruling says the Iranian in the letter has argued ‘he had integrated well within the Glasgow community’.

Lord Glennie’s judgment, in fact, reads: ‘He had integrated well within the Glasgow community, had a large network of friends, most of whom were Scottish, and socialised with those friends at the gymnasium, at five-a-side football, in coffee shops, at college, in the library and at their homes.

‘He went on to say that he made use of local facilities, such as the library and Glasgow leisure centres'.

Beheshti’s claim, it said, was ‘based on Article 8 ECHR and, in particular, on the fact that he had, so he claimed, established a private life in the UK’.

It’s time we do not prejudge and interpret facts to flog the immigrants. He is here not because of the visits to the gym. But, perhaps, because he has integrated well within the Glasgow community.

By Monika


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