Fundraising barbecue for Sheffield student who fears being deported back to war-torn Iraq

Ahmed Sedeeq.
Ahmed Sedeeq.

A fundraising barbecue in aid of a Sheffield student who fears being deported back to war-torn Iraq is being held this week.

Ahmed Sedeeq was granted permission to study for a PhD in computer science at the University of Sheffield in 2013.

Lord Mayor Magid Magid and the barbecue poster.

Lord Mayor Magid Magid and the barbecue poster.

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He applied for full asylum in the UK in 2014 when Isis invaded his home city of Mosul as he feared he would be killed over his non-religious beliefs if he returned.

However, the 30-year-old was later detained at a controversial immigration removal centre in Lincolnshire due to a dispute with the Home Office over his visa status.

He spent part of last Christmas in Morton Hall - which was made the subject of an investigation after four deaths at the site - before being released after more than 60, 000 people signed a petition and 300 academics put their name to a letter to see him freed.

Ahmed is now seeking asylum again and the Let Ahmed Stay campaign has been launched to help pay for his legal costs.

The latest fundraising event will be a barbecue with vegan food held at the Echo Beach bar at Dina in the city centre on Thursday, August 9, from 5.30pm.

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Magid Magid, is expected to be among those in attendance.

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Ahmed described how he "felt really down" during his time at the immigration removal centre and added: "People were being deported all the time and every time a guard arrived I thought they may be coming for me.”

But he also said he felt heartened by the support he has received from people in Sheffield.

Said Ahmed: "I am humbled by the kind support I continue to receive."

Sanaz Raji, an activist from Unis Resist Border Controls, claimed asylum seekers are having to raise their own funds to fight their case because of legal aid cuts introduced in 2013.

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Mark Pendleton, a lecturer at the University of Sheffield and member of the Let Ahmed Stay campaign, described Ahmed's treatment by the Home Office as "truly appalling."

A Home Office spokesman previously said they cannot comment on specific cases but added: "All applications are considered on their individual merits and in accordance with the immigration rules."