Somalian asylum seeker deported despite terror threat

Somalian refugees from an Al-Shabaab controlled town in Mogadishu.
Somalian refugees from an Al-Shabaab controlled town in Mogadishu.
Adam Bienkov By

A Somalian asylum seeker faces "imminent" deportation by the UK government, despite threats from terrorists to murder him on his return.

Anis (not his real name) told Politics.co.uk that he is in a state of "mental torture" as he contemplates his forced return to Mogadishu.

"The situation is very bad. I'm in a state of shock. I'm very isolated here," he said, speaking on the phone from a detention centre in Dover.

"I am scared. I'm in a state of mental torture. I think I will ask them to sedate me. I cannot go through what I went through before."


Terror group Al-Shabaab have said they will treat any Somalian returning from the UK as an infidel and a legitimate target.

Al-Shabaab commander Ali Mohamed Hussein has pledged that all those who return "will be killed and fought against in the same manner" as the government.

"They are working for the infidels, and since they are working for the infidels, they are the same as the infidels they are working for as far as we are concerned," he said.

Anis' case received lots of attention in the Somali media, after the UK authorities were forced to abandon a previous attempt to deport him midway through the journey to Mogadishu.

Earlier this year he described to Politics.co.uk the experience of being physically detained by UKBA.

"They forced me. They put handcuffs on me. There were three guys - one holding my right arm, one holding my left arm and another in front of me. They forced me into the van."

Anis was smuggled onto the food preparation area of a plane as passengers were boarding.

"They put me in a back seat," he said. "The passengers could see me and I could see them. I was shouting, screaming - crying and crying. One of the men sat on my left and the other on my right."

Anis had been bundled onto a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul, only for his judicial review to come through as they waited for the connecting flight to Mogadishu.

The experience has stayed with him.

"i cannot go through that again," he said.

"How they treated me in Turkey. How they abused me."

"I want them to give me an injection. I do not want to be conscious when they take me back there again."

Anis is the member of a minority clan in Somalia, something he believes will leave him especially vulnerable to attack in Mogadishu.

"I will be seen as a spy, as someone who has been brainwashed. I will not be safe there," he said.

I ask him what his message is to the UK government.

"Please, if anybody can help bring attention to what they are doing. If any human rights group can help mobilise against what is happening here."

He told me he hoped his case would also be a "wake up call" to Somalis in the UK.

"I hope this is a wake up to the Somalian people in the UK. Lots of people told me I would never be deported, that no civilised country in the world would ever deport people to a war zone like Somalia. They were wrong."

Read more: Immigrant stories: The secret deportation programme to Somalia.

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