I escaped the Taliban – the Borders Bill will criminalise Afghan refugees like me

Before arriving in Britain I shared a lorry with 70 people, was beaten, and slept rough for months – Coventry gave me sanctuary, helped me rebuild my life, and start a business, writes Shakib Nasery

Saturday 19 February 2022 15:26 GMT
Refugees evacuated from Afghanistan and given shelter in the UK
Refugees evacuated from Afghanistan and given shelter in the UK (Getty)

This week marks six months since the Taliban took Kabul. For those fleeing my homeland, the situation grows more difficult by the day. The Nationality and Borders Bill will erode their rights. If it was in place when I sought asylum – I wouldn’t be here today.

I fled Afghanistan at the age of 16 after my father died as a result of months of torture by the Taliban. My brother and I put our fate in the hands of a smuggler who promised to get us to safety. We left my grieving mother behind.

The journey was torturous – we shared a lorry with 70 other people, all taking turns to share a hole the size of a pin to breathe through. We were beaten by police in Turkey. I travelled barefoot, with no coat or jumper in the winter, and slept rough for almost eight months.

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