This Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting a young man from Iran, Javad and his wonderful adoptive parents, Terry and Stuart. Javad’s parents were killed in the Bam earthquake of 2003. Javad was taken into an orphanage. At 12, he left Iran strapped the underside of a lorry and came to the UK. He was looked after by the care system and at 21 moved to Hastings.
He has lived there ever since. He has never had any form of leave to remain in this country, but you can’t deport orphans to Iran. That would be a breach of their human rights. Of course, now that he’s an adult, it’s totally acceptable for the UK government to expect him to return to Iran. Javad, Terry and Stuart are fighting hard for Javad to have the right to remain in the only place he can possibly call home. To compound the horror of being dumped in a country you have no real ties to, Javad is autistic. It is unimaginably cruel to insist that he has to start again in a country he last knew as a child.
Javad’s central problem is that there is no easy route to status. He’s too old to claim a right to a private and family life as a child of Terry and Stuart. He doesn’t have a partner or children of his own. What he does have is a family and a community who love him. His best chance is to persuade the Home Secretary, his very own MP, that his autism and the length of hisabsence from the country where he has no immediate family means that there are significant obstacles to him rebuilding what he has here in Iran. To do that, he needs all of our support. You have a few minutes, perhaps could sign and share his petition, 38 Degrees Petition, share his website, http://www.supportjavad.com , or even write him a letter of support, http://www.supportjavad.com/media.html.
Javad clearly struggled hard with social interaction. He is shy and nervous. This is not surprising given his life background and cognitive make up. What is, perhaps, surprising, is how warm and enthusiastic Javad is. It is clear that all Javad wants to do is take part in regular life in the UK. He is a fashion designer of some talent. He wants to run his own clothing label. He wants to help out with community projects and to be constructive member of society. We can only hope that the powers that be will give him the chance.