Many people seeking asylum in the UK are left destitute.
Ali, 35, came to the UK eight years ago fleeing persecution by the Taliban. His right to asylum has been denied but he is unable to return to Afghanistan. He has been living in Scotland for two years, and the Home Office has recently cut off his support.
“Human rights” in this country is just for politicians and for business. They’ve never really believed in human rights, and never will. It’s a game. My neighbour has more respect towards his dog than the Home Office has towards us. But we’re all human beings. Nobody can deny that. God created us with a different colour, different religion maybe, different country, but at the end of the day we’re all human beings.
“This Christmas past, everybody was celebrating, having parties, having fun, having a good time with friends and relatives. I swear to God I was hungry at home and I had nothing. Because the Home Office, in November, they stopped my money. I survive with help from friends sometimes, from my flatmate sometimes, but it’s really hard.
“This life, I feel, is sometimes pointless. I feel like a burden on somebody. I have to keep asking for help and nothing changes, for years and years. I go to my doctor because things that happened to me years ago come to my mind in the night-time. I go there, they refer me to somebody else. I go there and they refer me yet again. And so on. My PTSD got worse here. I thought I would have a better life here but now I know I am wrong. If I had died back in Afghanistan, that would be better – I wouldn’t have had to deal with all of these problems.
“Please, respectfully, let us work. Let us live a normal life for this country and these people. We will never forget it. I hope that things will get better because you can’t lose your hope. One day it will change, I have to believe that.”