Exclusivo: Home Office ordered to bring vulnerable teenager to Britain after initially refusing his application
O Escritório em casa rejected a family reunion application from Samir (not his real name), who has been living alone on the island of Samos Desde a 2019, to join his older brother, uma refugiado no Reino Unido, in February 2021, claiming that there was “insufficient” evidence of a close relationship.
O Independente reported in May that Samir, who was assessed by the Greek authorities last year as being 20 years old but maintained that he was 17, was facing sexual assault and bullying on the Greek island.
His lawyers challenged the Home Office’s refusal. An immigration judge subsequently ruled last week that his continued exclusion from Britain constituted a disproportionate breach of his right to a family life with his brother, and that he must be transferred to the UK “ as soon as possible” in order for his asylum claim to be considered.
Samir, who has been assessed as being at high risk of suicide, contado O Independente on Monday that his tent had been burnt down in the night, and provided video footage of the structure ablaze. It was destroyed by a large fire that broke out in the Vathy camp on Sunday night.
The camp was due be closed anyway, with plans to move hundreds of migrants into a controversial €43m “closed” asylum centre on the island. No major injuries were reported to have been caused by the fire.
Samir, who fled to Europe after fleeing detention e torture in his home country, which cannot be revealed to protect his identity, disse: “The fire came to my tent and I was scared, so I left the tent. Everything has been damaged except that I just managed to rescue my papers and my phone. I don’t know where I will sleep now. Eu sou um sem-teto. ”
The teenager also spoke of facing sexual harassment, adicionando: “A few weeks ago I was walking to meet my solicitor and two older men tried to have sex with me. They gave me a kiss on my cheeks, then I ran away.
“I’m really, really scared. I don’t know where to go. I can’t sleep outside. Things are becoming worse and worse here.”
Handing down her judgement on Wednesday, Judge Jackson said she had attached “significant weight” to a medical report of professor David Bell, one of the UK’s leading psychiatric experts in asylum and immigration, who assessed Samir as being in a “complex chronic traumatised state” and suffering from a “severe depressive disorder”.
O relatório, published in July and seen by O Independente, states that it is “clear” that Samir will not recover from his disorder “as long as he remains in this environment, regardless of any treatment he can receive”.
Dr Bell said Samir was in the top 5 per cent of most traumatised cases of around 400 refugees he has assessed during his career.
Judge Jackson said the report identified Samir’s current condition and living circumstances “at the very high end of serious and compelling” and gave a “very poor prognosis” for Samir “should those circumstances persist in Grécia and he is denied the support of his brother in the UK”.
“I have no hesitation in the present case in accepting on the basis of the evidence before me that there is a disproportionate interference with the applicant’s Article 8 direitos," ela adicionou.
Samir’s UK-based solicitor, Rachel Harger of Bindmans Solicitors, contado O Independente: “Samir has endured a legal process of over a year before reaching this ruling. Meanwhile the conditions on Samos are increasingly volatile and dangerous and the burning down of Samir’s tent is just latest example of events which continue to traumatise him.
“The Home Office must now set out what action will be taken to expedite and facilitate Samir’s safe arrival into the UK to be reunited with his brother.”
The Home Office said it did not comment on ongoing legal cases.