The refugees who gave up on Britain

Afghanistan 0 Comment 171

In the culmination of an award-winning 18-month project, the new arrivals, Kate Lyons traces an Afghan father and son’s harrowing journey to Britain – and the pressures that led them to flee all over again

On a drizzly afternoon in February, Philip Kelly made the short drive from his home near the centre of Derby to a street in Normanton, one of the poorer areas of the city. He stopped at one of the terraced houses owned by G4S, which has a government contract to provide housing to asylum seekers in the region. The upstairs flat was occupied by Said Ghullam Norzai, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, and his 11-year-old son, Wali Khan.

Kelly knocked on the door, but there was no answer. Said and his son had vanished. Almost two years after smuggling themselves into the UK in the back of a lorry from Calais – and just seven weeks before an asylum appeal hearing that might have allowed him to stay and work legally in the UK, Said had smuggled himself and his son back out of Britain.

Related: How you can help refugees and asylum seekers in Britain

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